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Monday, 9 October, 2000, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
De Niro's parental charms
Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller
Warm welcome: De Niro and Ben Stiller top US box office
Robert De Niro's comic timing has proved a far greater draw at the US box office than Sylvester Stallone's gangster pretensions.

De Niro's Meet the Parents emerged as the number one movie at the weekend. The comedy also earned almost five times as much as Get Carter 2000, Stallone's remake of the classic British film, which came in at number three.

Robert De Niro
Father figure: Robert De Niro plays an overbearing parent
Meet The Parents is a record opening for De Niro, earning almost $30m (20m) at the box office.

It was also a record for an October weekend, beating the $17.2m (11m) earned by Antz, two years ago.

Meet The Parents pairs De Niro and Ben Stiller, who starred in There's Something About Mary, as a father and potential son-in-law who will go to any lengths to impress.

De Niro, who built his reputation as a serious actor in films such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull has shown a deft comic touch in movies Midnight Run and Analyze This.

"I think he'll become one of the big heavy-hitters in the comedy world,'' director Jay Roach, who filmed the Austin Powers movies, has joked.

There is already talk of a sequel to the comedy.

US box office
1. Meet the Parents (19.9m)
2. Remember the Titans (13.4m)
3. Get Carter (4.6m)
4. The Exorcist (3.1m)
5. Digimon: The Movie (2.8m)
6. Almost Famous (2.6m)
7. Urban Legends: Final Cut (1.8m)
8.Bring It On (1.5m)
9. What Lies Beneath (818,000)
10. The Watcher (750,000)

The only other new film in the American top 10 for last weekend is Digimon:The Movie, an animated children's film, earning $4.1m (2.7m) and taking the fifth slot.

After weeks of slow business, the box office looks to be picking up, thanks to the continued success of Denzel Washington's football movie, Remember The Titans, which took $19.1m (13m) over the weekend.

Stallone's Get Carter, which gives a cameo role to the film's original star, Sir Michael Caine, has been widely criticised by the American critics.

It did not screen in advance for mainstream critics, a ploy used when a studio is concerned that bad reviews will hurt ticket sales.

The re-release of The Exorcist continues to do good box office, holding on to a top five placing, earning $4.6m (3m).

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See also:

02 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Titans tower in the US
25 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Horror at the US box office
27 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Clinton scores at premiere
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