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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Record takings for action sequel
Jason Statham in Transporter 2
Jason Statham reprises his role as Frank Martin
Action sequel The Transporter 2 has set a new box-office record for a US Labor Day holiday weekend.

The film, which stars British actor Jason Statham as a soldier turned mercenary, rang up $20.2m (11.1m) in its debut weekend.

It almost equalled the entire haul of its 2002 predecessor, The Transporter, which took a total of $25.3m (13.7m).

Sex comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin fell to second place in the chart, while The Brothers Grimm fell to five.

The Brothers Grimm, directed by Terry Gilliam, took receipts of $7.93m (4.3m) just a week after debuting at number two.

US AND CANADA BOX OFFICE
1. Transporter 2
2. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
3. The Constant Gardener
4. Red Eye
5. The Brothers Grimm
Source: Exhibitor Relations

The film, which stars Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, was delayed for a year as Gilliam fought over the final version with brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the heads of Miramax Films, whose Dimension banner released the movie.

Drama The Constant Gardener, which stars Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, sold $10.8m (5.8m) in tickets in its first weekend, followed by the aeroplane thriller Red Eye with $9.3m (5m) at number four.

Ticket sales for the weekend's top 12 films were nearly 16% higher than the same period last year, Exhibitor Relations said.

However, overall summer attendance is expected to come in 12% behind last year with Hollywood having its worst year since late 1997.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, said: "It's somewhat ironic in the final weekend of one of the worst summers ever that we have a strong showing.

"Hopefully, this sets a positive tone heading into the fall and holiday season."




SEE ALSO:
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05 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
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29 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Penguins defy US box office slump
29 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Cinema admissions 'on increase'
29 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Americans 'prefer' DVDs to cinema
17 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
US box office set for record high
23 Dec 04 |  Entertainment
Film admissions 'down but strong'
04 Mar 04 |  Entertainment


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