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Heebie-Jeebies At The Cinema

Scary movies are back, including The Blair Witch Project, The Haunting, and, of course, The Sixth Sense.

At the box office for the third week in a row, the psychological thriller The Sixth Sense was No. 1, bringing in about $24.1 million this past weekend, reports CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen. (Its three-week gross has topped $107.7 million.)



Even more impressive: The drop-off from the last weekend's box office take is only 8 percent, compared to No. 2, Bowfinger, which dropped off 41 percent and No. 3, Runaway Bride, which dropped off 32 percent.

It wasn't too long ago that the movie that had everyone talking was The Phantom Menace. After that, there were a few movies (South Park, American Pie, and the Austin Powers sequel) that slaked the public's thirst for silliness.

Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly magazine says Disney, the studio behind The Sixth Sense, was busy most of the summer on its promotions for such movies as Tarzan and Inspector Gadget.


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Dave Karger: cites The Sixth Sense's pacing

"When you have a movie that is hyped, everyone runs out to go see it in the first three days," Karger explains. The Sixth Sense "is a movie that came out of nowhere, so people weren't talking about it at first. So people saw it in great numbers."

"It made $25 million at first, and everyone said to everyone they know, 'You've got to see this. You will not believe it.' And it just kept on going and going with minimal drop-offs," he adds.

The movie stars Bruce Willis as a therapist treating a boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people. But this is not a movie that is popular because of its star value, and Willis is not the power behind its success, says Karger.

"I wish I could say he was," he adds. "I was a fan of his from Moonlighting. It flies in the face of all the summer blockbuster formulas. It's not a sequel or a prequel. It didn't cost much to make. And Bruce Willis as a balding child psychologist doesn't exactly scream 'action figure.'"

Karger says, however, that Willis gives a fine performance in the movie, and young Haley is so good that he has a shot at an Oscar nomination.

The Sixth Sense, says Karger, is a good movie because of its pacing. "People have been talking about it, so you know you have to expect something, but you have no idea what it is," he explains.

"As it unfolds, you're always second-guessing everscene and wondering what the big twist will be. Even with that in mind, it still shocks you," Karger says.

For an interview with Haley Joel Osment, see "He's The Child Who Chills."

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