Will Smith continues summer streak with ‘I, Robot’

LOS ANGELES – Will Smith’s sci-fi thriller “I, Robot,” his latest No. 1 July debut, opened with $52.25 million and bumped “Spider-Man 2” from the top spot at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.

If the numbers hold when final figures are released today, “I, Robot” would be Smith’s best debut ever, coming in just ahead of “Independence Day,” “Men in Black” and “Men in Black II,” all July premieres that opened in the $50 million to $52 million range.

“My God, this guy opens movies,” said Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox, which released “I, Robot.” “He’s just so likable, he takes something like science fiction, which can be a little cold, and he makes it warm and entertaining.”

After two weekends in first place, “Spider-Man 2” slipped to No. 2 with $24.2 million, lifting its total domestic haul to $301.7 million after just 19 days. The movie crossed the $300 million mark three days faster than the original “Spider-Man,” according to distributor Sony.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Hilary Duff’s romance “A Cinderella Story,” premiered at No. 3 with $13.8 million.

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” held on at No. 5 with $7 million, raising its domestic total to $93.8 million. Moore’s critical look at President Bush over the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq has become the undisputed box-office champ among documentaries, passing the $84.4 million domestic haul of the IMAX film “Everest.”

“I, Robot,” inspired by the short-story collection of Isaac Asimov, stars Smith as a police detective in 2035 who suspects a robot has committed a murder.

Along with the “Men in Black” movies and “Independence Day,” “I, Robot” joins “Wild Wild West” and last year’s “Bad Boys II” in Smith’s string of summer smashes.

“He’s Mr. July,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “He’s the perfect summer action star. He’s a guy who seems like somebody fun to hang out with, but you know the guy can kick some butt when he has to.”

“A Cinderella Story” stars Duff as a saintly California teen slaving away for her odious stepmother and stepsisters in a modern update of the fairy tale.

In narrow release, Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger’s “The Door in the Floor” had a healthy debut, taking in $444,983 in 47 theaters. The family drama was adapted from John Irving’s novel “A Widow for One Year.”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Cameron Hewitt
Switzerland's Lauterbrunnen Valley looks pastoral but it hides a powerful dose of natural wonder.
Rick Steves’ Europe: In the Swiss Alps, the laws of nature rule

The travel guru learned to respect the power of nature in the shadow of Switzerland’s towering Jungfrau.

Inside Elle Marie Hair Studio in Smokey Point. (Provided by Acacia Delzer)
The best hair salon in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied. Here are the results.

For more than a thousand years, Czech leaders – from kings and emperors to Nazis, communists, and presidents – have ruled from Prague Castle, regally perched on a hill above the Vltava River. Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli
Rick Steves’ Europe: History lives in Prague and its hilltop castle

It’s one of Europe’s best-preserved cities, having been spared from last century’s bombs.

Alarm clock in the middle of the night insomnia or dreaming
Trouble sleeping? Try these tips for getting a good night’s rest

Many adults turn to sleep aids, including alcohol, to help them rest, without realizing that their hectic lifestyles may be contributing to their sleeplessness.

The Stumbling Fiddler Band is scheduled to perform March 3 in Everett. (Photo provided by Port Gardner Bay Music Society)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with music by the Stumbling Fiddler Band in Everett.

I was charged an extra $250 for a mistaken car rental upgrade

When Leah Page picks up her rental car from Thrifty, it charges her a $250 upgrade fee. Can it do this without her permission, and how can she get a refund?

Naomi Jacobson as Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer in "Becoming Dr. Ruth" at Village Theatre in Everett. (Auston James)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

“Becoming Dr. Ruth,” which tells the sex therapist’s amazing back story, is now showing at Village Theatre in Everett.

Over 200 years, the magic lantern transformed into an educational peacock

Regarded as magic in the 1650s, this device was refined into the more scientific sounding sciopticon by the mid-1800s.

Market for sale plants. Many plants in pots
Snohomish Garden Club plans annual plant sale

The event is scheduled for April 27 at Swan’s Trail Farms. Proceeds will go to scholarships.

Start planting now so you can stop to smell your own roses all summer long

Late winter to early spring is perfect for planting roses. And with so many varieties to consider, there’s no time to waste.

The 2024 Mazda3 hatchback. (Mazda)
2024 Mazda3 adds a Carbon Turbo trim and more safety features

The charismatic compact is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.

Cousins Penny Leslie and Sidney Baker work together on a mural inside a jail cell at the Mukilteo Police Department on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No more staring at blank canvas in Mukilteo police holding cells

Bright murals now adorn the walls. The artwork is intended to calm and relax detainees.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.