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Last Updated: Monday, 7 April, 2003, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
Sniper thriller shoots to top
Phone Booth
Phone Booth stars Colin Farrell and Kiefer Sutherland
Irish actor Colin Farrell has seen his latest movie Phone Booth shoot to the top of the North American box office chart - five months after it was shelved.

The film was originally delayed in the wake of a series of sniper shootings around Washington DC which left 13 people dead.

Twentieth Century Fox postponed the release of Phone Booth out of respect and sensitivity for the families of the victims.

Its opening week saw takings of $15m (9.6m), according to studio estimates.

The teen comedy What a Girl Wants, starring Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth, debuted at number two with box office receipts of $12.1m (7.8m).

North American top five
1. Phone Booth
2. What a Girl Wants
3. A Man Apart
4. Head of State
5. Bringing Down the House
Source: Exhibitor Relations
Action star Vin Diesel's A Man Apart also had a successful opening weekend, with takings of $11.2m (7.2m) placing it at number three.

The movie sees Diesel as a rogue federal agent charged with nailing a Mexican drug cartel.

Presidential comedy Head of State slipped from the number one spot to fourth position.

Box offices in the US and Canada have been suffering a slump in recent weeks, with the year's takings down 7%.

Studio executives are blaming the appetite for rolling news on the Iraqi war for the lack of interest.

Mood

But Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, suggests the reason has been a run of weak films on release.

He said: "The fact that it's down four weekends in a row, everybody says, hey, this has to do with the war and people's moods.

"But no matter what the mood of the country, if there are good movies out there, people will want to go see them."

The following weeks will should see a rise in interest with the release of a number of long-awaited films.

Anger Management, starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, opens on Friday while May sees the release of The Matrix: Reloaded and X-Men II.




SEE ALSO:
Movie falls victim to sniper
17 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Thriller recruits US film fans
03 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
Snipers bring fear to Washington
17 Dec 02  |  Americas


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