By:Steve Biodrowski
Date: Monday, October 30, 2000

For a relatively low-budget film from a small independent company, Artisan's Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 opened strong, with $13.1-million, good enough for 2nd place behind Meet the Parents. Unfortunately, despite the big total, Blair seems to be performing in exactly the opposite manner of its famous predecessor, which opened small and then expanded on the basis of good word of mouth. The sequel opened on over 3,300, earning a disappointing average of just about $3,500 per engagement. Also, the film fared poorly with a poll on Saturday and Sunday, asking browsers to grade the film. Out of 64 responses, only 17% gave the film an A, and 6% gave it a B, while 45% gave it an F, with the rest divided between C and D. On a point scale (4 for A, 3 for B, etc), that gave the film a total score of 89 and an average score of 1.4, or just shy of a D+. Expect bad word-of-mouth to precipitate a big drop in next week's box office performance. Of course, with a budget of only $15-million, the film is guaranteed to be a success anyway, but there seems no doubt that it's performance will fall well below that of its predecessor.

Only two other genre films landed in the Top Ten: Fox's Bedazzled dropped like a falling angel from 2nd to 4th place, earning $7.7-million, down 41% from the previous weekend. New Line's The Little Vampire made its debut in 6th place with $5.5-million on over 2,000 screens, for an average of just over $2,700 per engagement.

Below are studio estimates for the weekend's Top Ten films. Final figures will be posted tomorrow.

U.S. Box Office Top Ten 10/27 to 10/29/2000
1.Meet the Parents $15.1-million
2. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2$13.1-million
3.Remember the Titans $8.0-million
4. Bedazzled$7.7-million
5.Pay It Forward$6.9-million
6.The Little Vampire$5.5-million
7.Lucky Numbers$4.6-million
8.The Contender$2.5-million
9.The Legend of Drunken Master$2.3-million
10.Best in Show$1.8-million