Copyright 2004

[ October 3rd 2004 ]

The animated fish story Shark Tale swamped the competition, opening as the top weekend movie with $49.1 million and potentially breaking the record for best October debut. John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix's firefighting adventure Ladder 49 premiered in second place with $22.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The new flicks bumped the previous weekend's top movie, The Forgotten, to third place with $12 million, raising its 10-day total to $38.3 million.

Woman, Thou Art Loosed, starring Kimberly Elise as a woman traumatized by childhood sexual abuse who lands on Death Row, opened at No. 6 with $2.5 million. Adapted from the book by Texas church leader T.D. Jakes, the movie opened in narrower release of 408 theaters, about a tenth of the number for Shark Tale. I (Heart) Huckabees, an ensemble comedy from David O. Russell (Three Kings), had a spectacular debut in limited release, taking in $300,062 in four New York City and Los Angeles theaters. The movie averaged a whopping $75,016, compared with $12,226 in 4,016 cinemas for Shark Tale.

If numbers hold when final figures are released Monday, Shark Tale would set a record among October debuts, topping the $48.1 million opening of last year's Scary Movie 3. Shark Tale overcame so-so reviews, with some critics calling it a retread of the Shrek movies and the fish tale Finding Nemo.

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