According to Variety, Paramount's Coach Carter surged ahead of the competition over the first three days of Martin Luther King holiday weekend, scoring a $23.6 million debut and socking the Fockers.

The Samuel L. Jackson drama about a basketball coach in an inner-city school played a relatively light run of 2,524 theaters in its opening frame.

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Universal's Meet the Fockers, however, didn't slow down in its fourth week, taking in $19 million, down 37%, bringing the hit's cume to $230.8 million.

It was followed by the debut of Warner Bros.' talking animal kidpic Racing Stripes, which counted $14million in receipts from 3,185 locations.

Right behind was U's In Good Company, which showed considerable commercial strength in its first week of wide release by grossing $13.9 million from 1,566 engagements. Pic had previously played in just three exclusive engagements since Dec. 29. Cume is now $14.4 million.

20th Century Fox's comicbook adaptation Elektra, starring Jennifer Garner, was a little slow leaving the gate, with $12.5 million from 3,204 venues, which was good for the No. 5 spot.

Not too far behind it was U's Michael Keaton thriller White Noise, which sank 52% in its sophomore session to $12.2 million, bringing its cume to $41.2 million.

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