According to The Hollywood Reporter, Inspector Clouseau bumbled his way to the top of the boxoffice as Steve Martin's The Pink Panther debuted with an estimated $21.7 million to lead a rush of new releases.
New Line's horror sequel Final Destination 3 ran a close second with about $20.1 million, followed by Universal's animated Curious George at No. 3 with approximately $15.3 million and the Warner Bros. thriller Firewall starring Harrison Ford in fourth with roughly $13.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The overall boxoffice rose slightly despite the Winter Olympics and a Northeast snowstorm, both of which kept many moviegoers at home. The top 12 movies took in $106.8 million, up 3% over the same weekend last year, when Hitch opened as the No. 1 movie with $43.2 million.
Overseas, Steven Spielberg's Munich, playing in 49 markets, found itself displaced from its No. 1 boxoffice spot by Les bronzes 3: Amis pour la vie, a French-produced comedy that Warner Bros. is distributing in France. Les bronzes 3 grossed an estimated $14.3 million at 950 screens in its second weekend, with an astonishingly strong 1.9 million admissions. The Les Films Christian Fechner, TF1 Films Prods. and TPS Cinema co-production set an all-time opening-weekend admission record last weekend in France with 3 million customers. (The title also is being handled via local distributors in Switzerland and Belgium, for which weekend grosses were not available at press time.)