Eminem's "8 Mile," ousted from the number one spot, took in $21.3 million and "Santa Clause 2," "The Ring" and the Steven Seagal action flick, "Half Past Dead" rounded out the top five.
One of the actors making his Harry-Potter debut in the second film is scene-stealing Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy, the evil father of Harry's nemesis, Draco.
Isaacs has made a name for himself as a villain in films like "The Patriot," "Dragonheart," and "Black Hawk Down." As a new character, Issacs knew he faced a challenge to become part of the tight-knit ensemble from the first movie, led by Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry. CBS News' Randall Pinkston caught up with Isaacs in London.
"My litmus test was the kids. When I walked on and did my first lines, my first rehearsals and Daniel went, 'God, is that how you're going to talk, that's so cool.' I went, 'I passed the test with Daniel, so it'll be all right,'" says Isaacs.
"Malfoy's voice is based on a very, very patronizing bullying teacher I had at drama school whose voice is like fingernails on a blackboard," Isaacs explains. According to Isaacs, his character is no a villain. "He's a misunderstood hero but he has his own agenda. It just so happens his agenda is not very pleasant. It's about ridding the world of this subhuman species polluting pure wizardry. The mudbloods."
Isaacs says there was nothing on the page or in the script about how Malfoy should treat his nasty son, Draco, so he played a cruel father.
"And I arrived to do the scene the first day and I just, it just felt right that I should grab him by the ear, really and twist it and it felt like I should wrap him over the knuckles with my cane told Chris (Columbus), the director, but I didn't tell the actor. And he looked up at me with those sad eyes of his and I wasn't sure if I had upset the actor or if he was in character, but he's a great actor he was going with it because it made sense.
"Playing him, I understood for instance, when I was bullying my own son and treating Draco so badly that probably come from a very, very long line of cold brutal fathers producing cold brutal sons. I think when you watch the film you'll understand why Draco is the bully at school," Isaacs says.
So would he be in the next Potter movie?
"I am in the 4th book and when they get to that, I'm looking forward to doing it. I wish they'd skip straight to the 4th and come back and do the third one but they won't listen to me," he quips.
For now, he gets to enjoy being in a film that made the third best debut ever, behind the record $114.8 million that "Spider-Man" grossed in its first three days last spring and the $90.3 million haul of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" a year ago.
Though "Chamber of Secrets" opened in a record 3,682 theaters
on a record 8,515 screens, distributor Warner Bros. had not expected the movie to set revenue records. Anticipation had been greater for "Sorcerer's Stone" because it was the first big-screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling's tales, said Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution.
But with generally better audiences and critical reaction for the
new movie, Fellman said the studio hopes "Chamber of Secrets"
will surpass the $317.6 million total of "Sorcerer's Stone."
"The kids have gotten better, the reviews have gotten better.
The overall franchise is just growing," Fellman said.
"It's obvious people have not gotten this character out of
their system," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office
tracker Exhibitor Relations. "Despite all the books, the first
movie and the DVD of the first movie, people can't enough of him."
Last weekend's No. 1 film, rapper Eminem's semi-autobiographical
"8 Mile," dropped steeply after a huge debut. The movie came in
at No. 2 with $21.3 million, down 58 percent from its opening
weekend of $51.2 million and pushing its 10-day total to $86.4
The weekend's only other new wide release, Steven Seagal's
action thriller "Half Past Dead," opened in fifth place with $8.2
The overall box office rose, with the top 12 movies grossing
$165.2 million, up 8.5 percent from the same weekend last year.
The year's surprise blockbuster, the low-budgeted romance "My
Big Fat Greek Wedding," is expected to hit $200 million by
Tuesday. The film was No. 6 over the weekend, grossing $4.7 million
to lift its total to $199.6 million.
The horror hit "The Ring" became the 17th movie of 2002 to top
$100 million. The movie was No. 4 for the weekend with $11 million,
raising its total to $101.6 million.
"Frida," Salma Hayek's film biography of Mexican artist Frida
Kahlo, expanded to more theaters and broke into the top 10 in its
fourth weekend. The film grossed $2.9 million, coming in at No. 9.
Director Atom Egoyan's "Ararat" opened strongly in limited
release, taking in $162,000 at five theaters for an impressive
"Ararat" centers on an ensemble of contemporary characters to
examine the legacy of Egoyan's Armenian heritage and the dispute
over whether Turks were responsible for genocide against Armenians
during World War I. Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were
killed, but Turkey says the number is inflated and that Armenians
were killed or displaced as the Ottoman Empire tried to quell civil
The following are the ticket sales according to Hollywood.com
- "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," $87.7 million.
- "8 Mile," $21.3 million.
- "The Santa Clause 2," $15.1 million.
- "The Ring," $11 million.
- "Half Past Dead," $8.2 million.
- "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," $4.7 million.
- "Jackass: The Movie," $4.03 million.
- "I Spy," $4 million.
- "Frida," $2.9 million.
- "Sweet Home Alabama," $2.4 million.