Copyright 2003 Yahoo! News

[ July 28th 2003 ]

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over came in first at the box office this weekend with $32.5 million, but the mystery remained which of four contenders would come in second. Two new films - the Angelina Jolie adventure sequel Lara Croft: Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life and the true-life racehorse drama Seabiscuit - became locked in a virtual dead-heat for the follow up slot with the recent releases Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the action-comedy Bad Boys II.

Weekend earnings estimates on Sunday placed all the films within $900,000 of each other. "There are four films here that could literally change places on Monday when we get the final figures," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Although No. 2 remained almost too close to call, the prospective victor was Pirates of the Caribbean, which estimates showed earning $22.4 million, followed by Bad Boys II with $22 million.

The Tomb Raider sequel ranked fourth with $21.8 million, less than half what the original film earned in its opening weekend when it debuted in June 2001 with $47.7 million. Dergarabedian characterized the second Tomb Raider performance as further evidence of the unreliability of sequels this summer, comparing it to failed expectations for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Seabiscuit came in fifth this weekend, with $21.5 million, although Universal Pictures argued that the movie was running in a different race, since it showed on at least 1,200 fewer locations than each of its rivals.

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