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Last Updated: Monday, 14 April, 2003, 08:16 GMT 09:16 UK
Nicholson comedy all the rage
Anger Management
Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler star in Anger Management
Jack Nicholson's latest comedy Anger Management has helped revive the US box office after taking $44.5m (22.3m) in its opening weekend.

Following a slump in profits in recent weeks, partly due to the lack of blockbusters on show, the box office has seen its spirits lifted.

The takings for Anger Management, which also stars Adam Sandler, grossed more than the top 10 movies combined across the US and Canada.

Colin Farrell's sniper thriller Phone Booth slipped off the top to number two, with receipts of $7.5m (4.7m).

The only other mainstream release over the weekend was House of 1,000 Corpses, directed by former White Zombie lead singer Rob Zombie.

The horror movie took $3.7m (2.3m) in its first weekend, placing it at number seven in the box office chart, despite playing in less than 600 theatres.

North American top five
1. Anger Management
2. Phone Booth
3. What a Girl Wants
4. Bringing Down the House
5. A Man Apart
Anger Management had the highest April opening, beating the $36.1m (22.9m) record set by The Scorpion King last year.

Blowing off steam

In the movie Adam Sandler is wrongly assigned to an anger management programme under the guidance of Nicholson - a man with some of his own emotional issues to deal with.

Comedies have had a successful year so far with hits including Steve Martin's Bringing Down the House and Chris Rock's Head of State.

"The comedy genre this year is just incapable of burning out," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of chart compiler Exhibitor Relations.

"People are looking to blow off steam. What better way than seeing a movie that combines Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler?"

What a Girl Wants, starring Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth, fell one place to number three, taking $6.7m (4.2m), followed by Bringing Down the House with $4.6m (2.9m).

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