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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Denzel's Training Day tops film chart
Training Day
Washington plays a cop with unconventional methods
Denzel Washington's new crime drama Training Day has topped the US box office chart over the weekend.

The film - featuring Washington in a rare bad guy role - stole the number one position from last week's best-seller Don't Say A Word after it made an estimated $24.2m (16.4m).

Don't Say A Word, a thriller starring Michael Douglas, slipped to number three in the chart with takings of $10m (6.7m).

Sandwiched in between at number two came the new romantic comedy Serendipity starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, which made $14m (9.4m).

US box office top five
1. Training Day
2. Serendipity
3. Don't Say a Word
4. Zoolander
5. Joy Ride

Last weekend was the second week in which new releases helped boost box office takings since the slump following the terror attacks on the US on 11 September.

Overall, seven of the top 10 movies are new or one week old and the top 12 movies made $86.9m (58.8m) - the highest sum in seven weeks.

At the top of the chart, Training Day - which has earned glowing reviews - sees Washington as a plain clothes policeman with dubious methods for dispensing justice.

Serendipity has received more mixed reviews and sees Cusack and Beckinsale as a flirtatious couple who nonetheless decide to leave it to fate to see if they become a couple.

Serendipity
Serendipity sees Cusack play the dating game with Beckinsale

Zoolander - Ben Stiller's comedy about a clueless supermodel - fell from number two to number four, after taking $9.9m (6.7m).

Rounding out the top five was new suspense thriller Joy Ride, which took $7.4m (5m). The weekend's remaining new release, family comedy Max Keeble's Big Move, came in at number six with $5.5m (3.7m).

Training Day was one of a number of big violent movies which had its original release postponed following the terror attacks.

But, after Don't Say A Word, it became the second such film to top the box office chart. The indication seems to be that US audiences are not shying away from all onscreen violence in the wake of the attacks.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker company Exhibitor Relations, said: "I think this will embolden studios to not be as shy of releasing these types of films.

"People can differentiate fantasy from reality. The world changes, but as long as the movies are good and marketed well, it's pretty much business as usual. Except terrorism. I think that's still a taboo subject and may be for a while."

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller plays a supermodel who is hired to assassinate a prime minister

But, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage, in which he plays a firefighter seeking vengeance against terrorists, has been put on hold indefinitely.

Likewise, Tim Allen's comedy Big Trouble is on hold because it includes a scene about a bomb on a plane.

Among the other movies making up the top 10 at the US box office, was Anthony Hopkins's movie Hearts in Atlantis which fell to number seven from three.

Baseball flick Hardball, starring Keanu Reeves, hung on at number eight.

Nicole Kidman's The Others slipped down to ninth place from five last week.

And closing the top 10 was Jackie Chan's action comedy sequel Rush Hour 2.

See also:

24 Sep 01 | Film
Films slump in US
17 Sep 01 | Film
US box office rallies
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
01 Oct 01 | Film
Audiences return to US cinemas
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