Ring Reigns Over Robots

Chills prevailed over chuckles at the North-American box office over the weekend. After one week at the top of the charts, Fox Animation’s Robots slipped to No. 2 as DreamWorks’ horror sequel, The Ring Two, scared moviegoers to the tune of an estimated $36 million.

Robots enjoyed another strong weekend, pulling in nearly $22 million to bring its two-week cume to around $67 million. Though the film is on track to make a nice return on its reported $75 million investment, especially when it hits home video, Fox execs must be disappointed that it isn’t performing as strongly as recent CG hits such as DreamWorks’ Shrek 2 and Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles. Fox’s own flagship 3D toon, Ice Age, also did better when it opened in March of 2002 to $46 million on its way to $382 million worldwide. Ice Age 2: The Meltdown is in production for release in 2006.

The Ring Two made a splash despite negative reviews. The film employs digital effects by Rhythm & Hues in continuing the story of a murdered child who uses electronic media to reach out from beyond the grave–or the well, in this case. The film was directed by Hideo Nakata, who helmed both the original Japanese version of The Ring and its sequel.

Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures holds the No. 3 and No. 4 spots with The Pacifier and Ice Princess, respectively. In its third week, the Vin Diesel family comedy added $12.5 million to its cumulative take, now at around $72 million. Meanwhile, the tween-targeted Ice Princess debuted to a frigid $7 million. Six-week holdover Hitch from Sony Pictures rounds out the tip five with an estimated $6.6 million as it inches toward a $160 million total.