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 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 09:52 GMT
Tolkien towers over US box office
The Two Towers
The Two Towers: Taken $560m around the world
The new Lord of the Rings film has kept its stranglehold on United States and Canadian box offices, topping the film chart for a third week.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers took more than $25m (£15m) between Friday and Sunday, according to initial estimates, pushing it into the list of the top 20 films of all time.

US/Canada top five
1. The Two Towers
2. Catch Me If You Can
3. Two Weeks Notice
4. Maid in Manhattan
5. About Schmidt
Source:
Exhibitor Relations

But it was otherwise a slow week at cinemas, with the top four places in the box office chart remaining unchanged.

The week's only major release, Jack Nicholson's drama About Schmidt, could only enter at number five despite rave reviews and speculation that it could be in line for some Oscars.

The Two Towers has now taken $262m (£162m) in the US and Canada in its first 19 days, $50m (£31m) short of the total achieved by the first Lord of the Rings film.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can
DiCaprio plays a con man in Catch Me If You Can
Film executives are hoping its worldwide total - now standing at $560m (£350m) - will be pushed towards the $1bn (£620m) mark, which would make it the second most successful film of all time, after Titanic.

Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio features twice in this week's top 10.

In second place is Catch Me If You Can, in which he plays a con man who is chased by a FBI agent, played by Tom Hanks.

But his other big movie, Martin Scorsese's historical epic Gangs of New York, slipped to number six.

Romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice, starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock, remained at number three on the list, taking $11.6m (£7.2m) over the weekend.

Hope Davis and Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt
About Schmidt: Oscars buzz
Jennifer Lopez's Maid in Manhattan stayed at number four, with $9m (£5.6m).

About Schmidt's first week on national release earned $8.75m (£5.4m) after picking up a string of awards and nominations, with talk of an Oscar for Nicholson.

Other Oscars hopefuls such as Chicago, The Hours and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind all continued to generate healthy takings on small numbers of screens after being given limited releases to make them eligible for the awards.

The Hours, which stars Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore, took $326,000 (£202,000) at just 11 cinemas during the three-day period, according to box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.


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