Bourne, Robot Declaw Catwoman

Universal’s cloak-and-dagger thriller, The Bourne Supremacy, proved supreme indeed over the weekend, raking in an estimated $53.5 million at the box office to knock 20th Century Fox’s Will Smith sci-fi actioner, I, Robot, out of the top spot. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ Catwoman didn’t exactly land on its feet in third place with around $17 million.

Despite 850 visual effects shots by ESC, Tippett Studio, Matte World, Circle F, Meteor, Frantic, Pac Title and The Farm West, Catwoman’s most impressive eye-grabber is undoubtedly Halle Berry in tight, torn leather. Still, curiosity wasn’t enough to kill moviegoer apprehension to a tune that would justify the film’s $100 million production budget. The flick should do decent vid biz, but probably not enough to warrant a sequel. If we see Catwoman again, it will most likely be in a Batman movie. Warner Bros. is now in production on Batman Begins, an ambitious attempt to revive the franchise. Read about Catwoman’s digital enhancements in the upcoming September issue of Animation Magazine.

In its fourth week, Spider-Man 2 netted almost as much as Catwoman’s opening take. The web-slinging sequel grabbed another $15 million for a fourth place finish. Rounding out the top five was Warner Bros.’ Hillary Duff teen fairy tale, A Cinderella Story, with an estimated $8 million in its second week.

DreamWorks’ animated sequel, Shrek 2, jumped back into the top ten with $2.4 million in its tenth week, bringing its grand total to nearly $430 million. Also hitting a major milestone is the politically charged Michael Moore documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, which added around $5 million over the weekend to cross the $100 million mark.

Buoyed by positive reviews, healthy buzz and the star power of Matt Damon, The Bourne Supremacy pulled off a stunning landslide victory, hauling in twice as much as The Bourne Identity made when it opened in July of 2002. Over the course of its domestic run, the first Jason Bourne outing went on to earn more than $120 million, a mark Supremacy is sure to hit in the next couple of weeks if strong word-of-mouth keeps its momentum going. However, this weekend promises some tough competition in the form of Touchstone Pictures’ and M. Night Shyamalan’s eagerly awaited chiller, The Village, featuring effects by Illusion Arts, and Universal’s live-action adaptation of Gerry Andersen’s classic puppet TV series, Thunderbirds, with digital magic by Framestore CFC and Effects Associates.