“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was the best film I saw this weekend!

‘XXX’ Leads Struggling North American Box Office
The Vin Diesel action movie “XXX” led the North American box office for the second consecutive weekend with a three-day haul of $23 million, while Eddie Murphy posted one of the biggest flops of the year with his new film.
“The Adventures of Pluto Nash,” in which Murphy plays a lunar nightclub owner, debuted at No. 10 with ticket sales of just $2.2 million since its Aug. 16 bow, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday. It reportedly cost about $100 million to make.
The movie has collected dust — and bad industry buzz — since its summer 2000 shoot. There were no advance screenings for critics, and Murphy did not do any publicity.
It was produced by Australia’s Village Roadshow Ltd. and Castle Rock Entertainment, and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. Castle Rock and Warner Bros, are units of AOL Time Warner Inc. Ron Underwood (“Mighty Joe Young”) directed.
“It’s a disappointment and we’re moving forward,” said Dan Fellman, president of distribution at Warner Bros.
The top 10 contained one other new release, the female surfing movie “Blue Crush,” which opened at No. 3 with a solid $15.2 million. Budgeted at about $15 million, the teen-targeted drama was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of Vivendi Universal SA.
With the lucrative summer moviegoing season drawing to a close, overall receipts fell for the fifth consecutive weekend when compared with the year-ago period. However, sales for 2002 are on track to beat last year’s record take of $8.4 billion, thanks in part to a strong start to the summer.
Columbia Pictures’ “XXX” will likely benefit from the malaise with a third round at No. 1 next weekend, industry observers said. The only new releases then are “Serving Sara,” a romantic comedy starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley; “Simone,” a Hollywood satire starring Al Pacino; and “Undisputed,” a prison boxing drama starring Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames.
“XXX,” with a 10-day haul of $84.9 million, is outpacing Diesel’s 2001 breakthrough film “The Fast and the Furious,” which had pulled in $78 million after the same time and ended up with $144 million, said Jeff Blake, Columbia’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution.
Columbia is a unit of Sony Corp.
The Mel Gibson supernatural thriller “Signs,” which held steady at No. 2 with $19.5 million is also holding up well. After three weekends, it has pulled in $150 million. The film, written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, was released by Touchstone Pictures, a unit of Walt Disney Co.
“Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams,” fell one spot to No. 4 in its second weekend with $11.6 million. After 12 days, its total stands at $45.7 million. The children’s adventure was released by Disney’s Miramax Films unit.
The super-spy comedy “Austin Powers in Goldmember” fell one spot to No. 5 in its fourth round with $8.7 million. The Mike Myers vehicle has a 25-day total of $183.9 million. It was released by AOL Time Warner’s New Line Cinema unit.
Sleeper hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” jumped two places to a new high of No. 6 in its 18th weekend. Its weekend haul of $5.8 million propelled its total to $52.9 million. The arthouse romantic comedy added 349 theaters for a total of 1,072 outlets, still only a third the reach of the films in the top five.
The film was released by IFC Films, a unit of Rainbow Media Holdings Inc., which is majority owned by Cablevision Systems Corp.
Elsewhere in the arthouse world, director Neil LaBute’s adaptation of “Possession,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, opened in 270 theaters with a modest $1.6 million. It was released by Focus Features, a unit of Vivendi Universal.
“The Good Girl,” a black comedy starring “Friends” actress Jennifer Aniston, grossed $828,000 after expanding to 56 theaters in 18 cities; it opened last weekend in four locations in New York and Los Angeles, and has grossed $1.2 million to date. It expands to 500 theaters nationally in two weeks, the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The film was released by Fox Searchlight, a unit of News Corp.’s Fox Entertainment Group Inc.
Paramount Classics’ German-language culinary romance “Mostly Martha” debuted in two New York theaters with $42,000. Its screen average of $21,000 ranks as the highest in the Viacom Inc.-owned studio’s history, a spokeswoman said. It expands to the top 10 markets next weekend.