There's a rare dead heat for number one at North American theaters this week. An intense gangster drama runs neck-and-neck with a family-friendly adventure. Alan Silverman runs down the top five films starting with a remade comedy classic at number five.
Mr. Deeds is loosely adapted from Frank Capra's 1936 Mr. Deeds goes to Town that starred Gary Cooper; this time Adam Sandler plays the small town guy who inherits an enormous fortune and all the headaches that go with it. Mr. Deeds remains in fifth place.
A true incident from Cold War history inspires an undersea drama that debuts at number four.
K-19 dramatizes the maiden patrol of the Soviet Union's first nuclear missile submarine and how the crew risked painful radiation burns and death to prevent an out-of-control reactor from triggering an atomic blast. Harrison Ford stars as the captain of the heroic K-19 crew.
Liam Neeson co-stars, and K-19, The Widowmaker surfaces in fourth place.
The comedy sequel that was the top film for the past two weeks dives to number three. Men in Black II brings back Will Smith as secret Agent J, helping to police outer space aliens on planet Earth. Smith says he enjoys a variety of roles, but he has no problem being part of a "franchise," as films with multiple sequels are known.
Tommy Lee Jones is also back as Agent K and Men in Black II dips to third, bumped down by the opening of another "Little" comedy sequel.
Stuart Little II is another adventure of a talking mouse adopted by a human family in New York City, adapted from the stories by E.B. White. Michael J. Fox returns as the voice of Stuart and Melanie Griffith co-stars as his new friend, a sassy little songbird named Margalo. Griffith says it was a role she was happy to do for her youngest daughter.
Among those returning from the original cast: Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie play Mr. And Mrs. Little; Jonathan Lipnicki is Stuart's human brother, George; and Nathan Lane is the voice of Snowbell the cat.
Initial box office estimates put Stuart Little II dead even with the much more serious and more adult drama Road to Perdition. Tom Hanks stars as a 1930s gangster out to avenge his family's murder and to protect his surviving son.
Director Sam Mendes avoids the rapid-paced editing currently in vogue and boldly uses stillness in place of dialog.
Tyler Hoechlin plays the youngster; Paul Newman co-stars as the crime boss; and Road to Perdition moves up the box office chart to tie for number one at North American theaters.