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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
US box office rallies
Hardball
Hardball has a tear-jerker twist in the story
Sports drama Hardball has topped the US and Canada box office in a strong movie-going weekend despite the terrorist attacks.

Cinemas were relatively empty on Friday as many Americans watched events on television news, but on Saturday cinema audiences returned.

US box office top five
1. Hardball
2. The Glass House
3. The Musketeer
4.The Others
5. Two Can Play That Game

"A lot of people wanted an escape," said Rob Friedman, vice-chairman of Paramount, which made the chart-topping Hardball.

The film tells the story of a down-and-out gambler goaded into coaching an inner-city youth baseball team.

According to advance figures by Exhibitor, which tracks film earnings, the melodrama opened at number one in the US box office, taking $10.1m (6.84m).

The Musketeer
The Musketeer gives the Dumas classic a twist
That is almost equal to the opening that martial arts adventure The Musketeer made last week.

Overall, the weekend box office returns were about 42% higher than at the same time last year, $54.1m (36.6m) compared to $37.8m (25.6m).

The Musketeer fell back to third place with $5.3m (3.5m) behind another newcomer, The Glass House.

This psychological thriller stars Leelee Sobieski and took $6.1m (4.1m).

Nicole Kidman in The Others
The Others: Produced by Kidman's ex-husband Cruise
Exhibitor president Paul Dergarabedian said that there had been "fear and apprehension" about the effects of the tragedy on the industry.

He was relieved that there had not been an adverse affect.

"Movies have always been a great diversion and relief for people," he added.

In fourth place - up from last week's fifth position, was The Others, starring Nicole Kidman, which took 4.8m (3.2m)

The romantic comedy Two Can Play That Game came in fifth, earning an estimated $4.7m (3.1m) in its second week.

The film stars Vivica A Fox as a vindictive girlfriend.

See also:

13 Sep 01 | Film
Hollywood 'changed forever'
12 Sep 01 | Film
Bomb blast movie pulled
10 Sep 01 | Film
Musketeer tops US movie chart
14 Aug 01 | Film
Cats and Dogs digs claws in
06 Aug 01 | Film
Rush Hour 2 rumbles to top
10 Aug 01 | Film
Pie sequel tests US censors
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