rediff.com
rediff.com
Movies
      HOME | MOVIES | BILLBOARD
October 15, 2001

5 QUESTIONS
BILLBOARD
BOX OFFICE
MAKING WAVES
MEMORIES
QUOTE MARTIAL
REVIEWS
ROUGH CUTS
SHORT TAKES
SOUTHERN SPICE
SURFBOARD
THE LIST
WISH THE STARS
ARCHIVES
SEARCH REDIFF



 Deals for NRIs

 CALL INDIA
 Direct Service :
 29.9/min
 Pre-paid Cards :
 34.9/min

 Search the Internet
           Tips
 Sites: Actresses, Actors
E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Anthrax steals the show from Bandits

Som Chivukula

Just when Ashok Amritraj felt he found the formula for box office success, the tense mood blanketing much of the country got him.

Bandits Bandits, the Bruce Willis-Billy Bob Thornton starring comedy, is co-produced by Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment.

It opened to good reviews with critics praising the lead performances that include Cate Blanchett. Analysts predicted a haul of near $ 20 million for the Friday-Sunday period.

Yet, the fears of an anthrax attack kept much of its target audience away. Bandits finished with a mediocre $ 13.5 million, finishing second behind the Denzel Washington drama Training Day, with $13.6 million.

"Friday was a complete wipeout," Bob Levin, MGM's president of marketing and distribution, says to the Hollywood trade publication, Variety. MGM, which is going through a green period with the recent hit Legally Blonde, released Bandits.

Theaters in large markets such as New York, Washington D C, Boston and Philadelphia were largely empty Friday, Levin noted. In fact, Bandits earned more in Plano, Texas, than it did in New York Friday, he said.

What's the worst that could happen? But the film played well on Saturday and Sunday to finish in a virtual tie with Training Day. Final figures will be released on October 15.

Amritraj has had a tough summer with two disappointing films: the Martin Lawrence vehicle What's the Worst that Could Happen? that ended its run in North America with $ 32 million and Angelina Jolie's Original Sin, which grabbed just under $ 30 million.

Clearly, considering Willis's track record in recent films that include the blockbusters The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, the expectations for Bandits were sky high. It cost nearly $ 90 million, a third of which was financed by Hyde Park.

But the film is getting strong word-of-mouth, which should help next weekend: Exit polls showed 75 per cent of the Bandits audience was over 25 and 54 per cent were female.

Three-quarters of those polled rated the film 'very good' or 'excellent' and two-thirds gave it a 'definite recommend'.

Training Day, a Warner Brothers production, has grossed $ 43.6 million in 10 days. Two other new releases, Corky Romano, a comedy starring Saturday Night Live star Chris Kattan, opened at the third spot with $ 9.3 million; and Iron Monkey, a martial-arts action adventure, at the sixth spot with $ 6 million.

Serendipity The top five also includes the John Cusack romantic comedy Serendipity at No 4 with $9.0 million and the Michael Douglas thriller Don't Say A Word at No 5 with $6.8 million. Serendipity has pulled in $ 26.6 million after 10 days and Word has grossed $ 41.8 million in 17 days.

Next week, sees more competition served up: From Hell, the Johnny Depp-Heather Graham drama; Rod Lurie's The Last Castle, a military prison thriller starring Robert Redford; and Riding in Cars with Boys, a drama starring Drew Barrymore.

NEWS | MONEY | SPORTS | MOVIES | CHAT | CRICKET | SEARCH | RAIL/AIR | NEWSLINKS
ASTROLOGY | BROADBAND | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | ROMANCE | WOMEN | WEDDING
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK