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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 08:40 GMT
Snipes tops US movie chart
Wesley Snipes
Snipes has boosted March takings
On the weekend that black talent triumphed at the Oscars, black leading man Wesley Snipes' latest film has entered the US box office charts at number one.

Blade 2, in which Snipes stars as a half-man, half-bloodsucking Marvel comic character who kills vampires, earned $33.1m (23.2m) in its opening weekend.

Ice Age
Takings for animated feature Ice Age remain high
Playing in 2,707 cinemas across the country, Blade 2 nearly doubled the opening weekend take of the original 1998 film.

In second place, Ice Age - the animated comedy about prehistoric creatures caught by a big freeze - had a strong second weekend, taking $31.1m (21.8m).

At number three was the 20th anniversary version of ET: The Extra Terrestrial, which made $15.1m (10.6m), one of the strongest opening results for a re-released film.

US and Canada box office chart
1. Blade 2
2. Ice Age
3. ET The Extra Terrestrial
4. Showtime
5. Resident Evil
6. We Were Soldiers
7. The Time Machine
8. A Beautiful Mind
9. Sorority Days
10. 40 Days And 40 Nights
Together, the top 12 weekend films earned some $121m (85m) - a rise of 74% on same weekend in 2001.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, said: "This could be the biggest March weekend ever.

"Studios are going to look at March in a new light now."

Only one Oscar-winning movie was in the top 10 over the weekend - A Beautiful Mind, winner of the best film, best director, best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay awards.

The film, which stars Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, stayed in eighth position with $4m (2.8m).

See also:

25 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
Oscar triumph for black actors
05 Nov 01 | Film
Monster hit at box office
10 Sep 01 | dot life
Adventures in animation
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