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'Charlie's Angels' Tops Box Office

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The angels banished the demons at the box office.

``Charlie's Angels'' took in $25 million to remain the top movie for the second straight weekend, leaving Adam Sandler's satanic comedy ``Little Nicky'' with a second-place debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

``Little Nicky'' grossed $18.1 million, so-so numbers considering Sandler's last two comedies, ``The Waterboy'' and ``Big Daddy,'' opened with about $40 million each.

``Men of Honor,'' based on the true story of the Navy's first black master diver, opened at No. 3 with $14 million. The movie stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as diver Carl Brashear and Robert De Niro as a racist instructor.

De Niro's comedy ``Meet the Parents'' held strongly in fourth with $10.6 million. ``Red Planet,'' starring Val Kilmer and Carrie-Anne Moss on a mission to Mars, premiered at No. 5 with $9 million.

Michael Douglas' ``Wonder Boys,'' a well-reviewed movie that bombed early this year, reopened in limited release with $83,000 in 15 theaters, averaging $5,533 a theater. That was about $900 more than the movie averaged when it opened in fairly wide release last February.

A dark comedy about a novelist whose artistic and personal life are unraveling, ``Wonder Boys'' is getting a second chance by distributor Paramount, which hopes to boost the film's Oscar buzz.

Also in limited release was ``You Can Count On Me,'' which received rave reviews and split the top prize at last winter's Sundance Film Festival. The movie debuted with $114,000 at eight theaters, averaging a healthy $14,250.

``You Can Count On Me,'' starring Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo in a touching sibling-reunion drama, expands to more cities next weekend and through the holidays.

Breaking into the top 10 was the British film ``Billy Elliot,'' which expanded to 494 theaters, an increase of 375, and grossed $2.8 million for ninth place. The movie, about a boy in a mining town who pursues his dream of ballet dancing, has taken in $6 million in a month of limited release.

``Charlie's Angels,'' the update of the TV series, stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. It pushed its total to $75.4 million in just 10 days.

``It's almost like a summer movie in the middle of November,'' said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, which tracks the box office. ``A quintessential, fun, popcorn movie, and audiences are just really responding.''

``Charlie's Angels'' is proving so strong that it may have siphoned off movie-goers from Sandler's flick, said David Tuckerman, head of distribution for New Line, which released ``Little Nicky.''

Sandler plays a dimwitted son of Satan, who travels to New York City to stop his brothers from unleashing hell. ``Little Nicky'' received mostly bad reviews.

``Sandler's never gotten good reviews. His fans, they don't care. They're going to see him. He's his own phenomenon,'' said Tuckerman, who predicted the movie would hold on strongly through the holidays. ``His core audience loves this movie, and they'll come back and see it again.''

``Charlie's Angels''' hold on the box office ends next weekend with the debut of one of the year's most anticipated movies — Jim Carrey in ``Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.''

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures are to be released Monday.

1. ``Charlie's Angels,'' $25 million.

2. ``Little Nicky,'' $18.1 million.

3. ``Men of Honor,'' $14 million.

4. ``Meet the Parents,'' $10.6 million.

5. ``Red Planet,'' $9 million.

6. ``The Legend of Bagger Vance,'' $6.6 million.

7. ``Remember the Titans,'' $5.5 million.

8. ``Pay It Forward,'' $3.1 million.

9. ``Billy Elliot,'' $2.8 million.

10. ``Bedazzled,'' $2.5 million.
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