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The Bruce is Mightier Than “The One”


The Bruce is Mightier Than “The One”

The Jim Carey vehicle Bruce Almighty proved to be just that at the box office over the Memorial Day weekend. The comedy about a newsman granted divine powers by God (Morgan Freeman) brought in a surprising $86 million dollars during the four-day period, knocking Warner Bros.’ The Matrix Reloaded out of the top spot.

Featuring visual effects by Illusion Arts, Universal Pictures’ Bruce marks Carey’s return to the type of over-the-top comedy that made him a star. In 1996, the actor made a major departure from characters like Ace Ventura and The Mask with the Ben Stiller-directed dark comedy The Cable Guy. What followed was a string of more serious and less lucrative projects like The Truman Show, Man on the Moon and The Majestic.

For Bruce, Carey reunited with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Liar, Liar director Tom Shadyac. The result is the biggest opening for a non-sequel comedy the second biggest Memorial Day opening in history. The Lost World: Jurassic Park did slightly better with just over $90 million in 1997.

After just one week in the No. 1 spot, The Matrix Reloaded slips to No. 2 with a 50% drop off in ticket sales. Still, the sci-fi actioner brought in an estimated $45.6 million to jack the gross up to around $209 million. According to Warner Bros., overseas receipts for the film have now reached $154 million, even though the film doesn’t open in Japan, its biggest expected international market, until June 7.

Nasty weather in many parts of the country contributed to a big weekend for movies in general. Sony Pictures’ Eddie Murphy family comedy Daddy Day Care racked up another $18 million for a third place finish and an estimated cume of $73 million. X2: X-Men United is steadily clawing its way to the $200 million mark. Twentieth Century Fox’s comic book adaptation pulled in around $13 million to push the four-week total to an estimated $192 million. Finishing at No. 5 is Warner Bros.’ action/comedy remake The In-Laws. Tough competition from Bruce and hardy holdovers left just over $9 million for the Michael Douglas/Albert Brooks pairing.

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