Here are the top five weekend movies, according to Hollywood.com:
- Meet the Parents, $21.3 million
- Remember the Titans, $13.5 million
- Lost Souls, $8.4 million
- Ladies Man, $5.7 million
- The Contender, $5.5 million
In The Contender, Jeff Bridges plays a president with a lot to well, contend with. Joan Allen plays a senator hand-picked to replace a dearly departed vice president. The problem is, there are sexual skeletons in her closet.
The Contender was a big hit among the industry "in-crowd" at its Toronto premiere last month. But in recent years, acclaimed films with political themes (Primary Colors, Wag the Dog, and The American President) have been lame ducks at the box office. Bridges thinks he knows the reason.
"Probably for the same reason why it's hard to get them into the polls," he says. "I think they want to see politics more in the 'soap opera' thing (The Contender) kind of works on that level, too."
Bridges was initially reluctant to play a president, thinking he didn't have the age and authority to pull it off. But he found his inspiration close to home, in his late father, the actor Lloyd Bridges.
Says Bridges, "It's funny. I'll run across people that met my dad even for a few minutes And I can see that they have been touched by him, you know. And he had this way of ingratiating himself and making everybody feel important."
Some insiders, reports Hibberd, are surprised The Contender didn't do better at the box office, despite good reviews. Word of mouth will either help or hurt this movie, and next week's figures will tell.