For the third weekend in a row the stalker shocker was No. 1, earning another $10 million from audiences attracted by the teen-scream thrills and the appeal of TV beauties Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar. It is the first movie since the summer's megahit Men in Black to register on top three times in a row.
Threes were wild this weekend. Three new films had opened in wide release, but only Red Corner, starring Richard Gere as an American trapped by China's corrupt legal system, packed any punch, landing in second place with an estimated gross of $8.3 million. However, rival studios disputed MGM's claim that this political thriller, which had been spotlighted in the controversy surrounding the U.S. visit of China's President Jiang Zemin, would hold that position once the final weekend figures are tallied Monday.
Some analysts speculate that Warners Bros.' Devil's Advocate, featuring Al Pacino's flashy Satanic turn, might ultimately also threepeat in second place, dropping Gere's topical murder story into third. It scared up an estimated $7.6 million over the Friday-Sunday period.
What is not disputed is the success of Boogie Nights, the critically praised peep at the porn industry. Although the film went into wide release, it's still in only 907 locations, around half the number in which the No. 1 movie can be seen. Nevertheless, this R-rated drama, starring Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds, registered in fourth place, lapping up $5.1 million.
Another serial-killer movie Switchback, starring Danny Glover and Dennis Quaid, failed to make anything like the mark of Morgan Freeman's successful Kiss the Girls. The newcomer to the well-worked genre only debuted at seventh, with a meager $3 million, while the established hit remained in the Top 10 in fifth place with another $3.6 million.
The adaptation of the children's classic story The Wind in the Willows, in which Monty Python comedians play humanized versions of assorted rodents and a toad, had a very weak opening, taking in only $67,000.
The estimated grosses for the weekend:
1. I Know What You Did Last Summer, $10 million
2. Red Corner, $8.3 million
3. Devil's Advocate, $7.6 million
4. Boogie Nights, $5.1 million
5. Kiss the Girls, $3.6 million
6. Seven Years in Tibet, $3.4 million
7. Switchback, $3 million
8. Fairy Tale: A True Story, $2.9 million
9. Gattaca, $2.7 million
10. In & Out, $1.8 million