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007's Popularity Refuses to 'Die'

The weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally a slow one at the box office and this one held true to form. Early Show's Entertainment Contributor Laurie Hibberd reports the box office numbers and catches up with Cathy Moriarty, the female mob boss of "Analyze That."

The James Bond flick, which debuted as the No. 1 movie two weeks
earlier, returned to the top spot with $13 million, according to
studio estimates Sunday.

The mobster-in-therapy sequel "Analyze That," had a weaker debut than the original movie, opening with $11.3 million. "Analyze This" had opened with
$18.4 million in 1999 on its way to a total gross of $106.7
million.

"We'll just have to see how it holds up," said Dan Fellman,
head of distribution for Warner Bros., which released "Analyze
That."

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"Analyze That" re-teams Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro for the sequel to their 1999 hit "Analyze This." This time around, De Niro's mobster Paul Vitti has a new nemesis: a female mob boss played by Cathy Moriarty. She says getting into the role had its challenges.

"I play the mob boss, so who do you call for a reference or to do any research?" asked Moriarty with a big laugh. "You just have to trust. I learned actually from De Niro a long time ago - just make a character for yourself. Develop a character and go with it. And if you stay in character all the time, whether you improvise or whatever you do, you'll always be on the right page."

That was one of many things Moriarty learned from De Niro when she won the part of Jake Lamotta's wife in "Raging Bull." She was only 18.

"For me, I just wanted to learn. Whether I got the part or not, it really didn't make any difference to me because I was just enthralled with the fact that I was getting acting lessons from Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. I was just a girl who thought I knew everything and I knew nothing, but I'll always be grateful to them. They were very generous and they taught me," Moriarty said.

So, 24 years later and many films wiser, how does Moriarty find her old co-star?

"It's nice to see him do comedy, but I always thought he was funny. And I love to see the chemistry between him and Billy Crystal. It's very genuine and you can see they're having a good time," she said.

These days Moriarty has put acting on the back burner while she raises her three kids. But when she does take a job, her work philosophy is very specific.

"I kind of just go and do my job and hope I do the best on that given day. And if I do the best on that given day, I can sleep at night. Whether it's good or bad, as long as I know I gave my best, I gave 100 percent, I'm happy," she said.

Last weekend's top film, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Secrets," slipped to third place with $10 million, lifting its
total to $213.9 million in just over three weeks.

John Leguizamo's drug-and-gangster drama "Empire" opened
strongly in narrower release, grossing $6.3 million and coming in
at No. 4. Playing in 867 theaters, "Empire" averaged a healthy
$7,235 a cinema, compared with a $4,288 average in 2,635 theaters
for "Analyze That."

"Empire" was the first movie released by a partnership between
Universal Pictures and Arenas Entertainment, which targets Hispanic
viewers. Latinos made up 51 percent of the audience for "Empire."

The sci-fi thriller "Equilibrium," starring Christian Bale,
Taye Diggs and Emily Watson, opened weakly with $528,000 in 301
theaters, averaging $1,754.

In limited release, the acclaimed "Adaptation" grossed
$400,000 in just seven theaters for a whopping $57,143 average.
Starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper,
"Adaptation" reunites "Being John Malkovich" screenwriter
Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze for a bizarre story of an
anxiety-ridden writer struggling to adapt a book to film.

"Adaptation," in which Cage plays a fictionalized version of
Kaufman and his make-believe twin brother, expands to more theaters
in late December and early January.

The overall box office was down with the top 12 movies grossing
$69.5 million, off 15 percent from the same weekend last year when
"Ocean's 11" opened with $38.1 million.

Even over Thanksgiving, new films such as "Treasure Planet" and "Solaris"
had a hard time making inroads against established hits.

"Newcomers are all having a rough time breaking in," said
box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations.
"'Harry Potter' and 'Die Another Day' are doing so well, it's
making it difficult for other films to grab an audience."

The following are the numbers according to Hollywood.com:

  1. "Die Another Day," $13 million.
  2. "Analyze That," $11.3 million.
  3. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," $10 million.
  4. "Empire," $6.3 million.
  5. "Treasure Planet," $5.7 million.
  6. "The Santa Clause 2," $5.4 million.
  7. "Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights," $5.2 million.
  8. "Friday After Next," $2.8 million.
  9. "8 Mile," $2.6 million.
  10. "The Ring," $2.5 million.
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