Martin Scorsese, who has received plenty of critical praise and film awards in the past, but has never had a big box-office opening, finally has seen one of his films open big. His The Departed, starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Matt Damon, debuted with $27 million -- at the high end of analysts' expectations (but lower than those of the film's producer), almost three times higher than his previous best -- $10.3 million for 1991's Cape Fear. New Line's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre opened in second place with $19.2 million, same $3 million more than it cost to produce. Last weekend's top film, Sony's animated Open Season, fell to third place to $16 million. Overall, the box office was up 16 percent from the comparable weekend a year ago, with $102 million. Meanwhile, overseas The Devil Wears Prada surprised box-office analysts with a solid take of about $17.3 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which noted that the film defied "the old industry saw that domestic satire doesn't travel well." (The explanation might have something to do with the fact that many theater complexes are now located in high-end shopping malls.) It displaced last weekend's top film, World Trade Center, which dropped to No. 2 with around $12.5 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. The Departed, $27 million; 2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, $19.15 million; 3. Open Season, $16 million; 4. Employee of the Month, $11.8 million; 5. The Guardian, $9.6 million; 6. Jackass Number Two, $6.4 million; 7. School for Scoundrels, $3.4 million; 8. Gridiron Gang, $2.3 million; 9. Jet Li's Fearless, $2.2 million; 10. The Illusionist, $1.8 million.