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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 11:17 GMT
Denzel's Q for success
Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington playing everyman figure John Q
Oscar nominee Denzel Washington's latest film, John Q, is at the top of the US cinema box office charts after a successful opening weekend.

Washington plays a man who holds a medical emergency room hostage in order to secure a heart transplant for his son.

John Q, took an estimated $20.6m (£14.4m) at 2,466 cinemas, beating Crossroads, the movie debut of pop star Britney Spears, into second place.

Spears's film, a road movie about three high school friends on their way to Los Angeles to enter a pop contest, took $14.6m (£10.2m) at 2,380 sites over its opening weekend.

The top five
John Q: $20.6m (£14.4m)
Crossroads: $14.6m (£10.2m)
Return to Neverland: $11.8m (£8.2m)
Collateral Damage: $9.1m (£6.4m)
Big Fat Liar: $8.7m (£6.1m)
Source: Exhibitor Relations

John Q is another hit for New Line Cinema, the company behind The Fellowship Of The Ring.

The film co-stars Robert Duvall and Anne Heche.

It is directed by Nick Cassavetes, son of the late John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, whose credits to date are the smaller independent films Unhook The Stars and She's So Lovely.

Washington is nominated for a best-actor Oscar for his role in Training Day, in which his maverick cop plunges rookie Ethan Hawkes into a day of mayhem on the streets.

Spears's film features her hit song I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Britney Spears and boyfriend Justin Timberlake at the LA Crossroads première

The success of Crossroads is in sharp contrast to the flop of fellow pop star Mariah Carey's film debut, Glitter, in the US last summer.

Disney's animated sequel to Peter Pan, Return To Neverland, took $11.8m (£8.2m) at 2,605 sites, and came in at number three on its opening weekend

MGM had a disappointing weekend, with Rollerball falling out of the top 10 on only its second weekend.

MGM's Hart's War, a World War II PoW camp drama starring Bruce Willis, entered the chart at a lower-than-expected number seven.

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See also:

12 Feb 02 | Film
Red carpet debut for Britney
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