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<i>Freddy Versus Jason</i>  Remains Most Popular Film in US - 2003-08-30


With the summer season drawing to an end in North America, it's a typically lackluster week at movie theaters - with no change in the box office top five except one new entry at number five.

In The Medallion, Asian superstar Jackie Chan combines his signature martial arts style with the fantastic leaps and superhuman feats of Hong Kong-style action. Chan says he brought what he's learned from making Hollywood films to his Hong Kong colleagues.

"I learned good things from America," he said. "Asian films are too cheap. We're not good for the worker; we work for 24 hours with no lunchtime and no break. That's bad. We cut out these kinds of things and then I tried to mix the American way, my way and the Asian way together. I hope it becomes a good way."

Filmed in Hong Kong in English, The Medallion co-stars Claire Forlani and opens up at number five.

The Disney remake Freaky Friday is held over in fourth place. Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan co-star as a mom and her teenage daughter who magically switch bodies and learn comic lessons about each other's life. "Make good choices" is the lesson Curtis says she brought to the family comedy: a lesson she's learned raising her own teenage daughter.

"The whole idea of raising kids is that at some point, you're supposed to let them go and you have to hope that the person you have helped along makes good choices in their life," said Jamie Lee Curtis. "You have to let them make choices - and make some bad choices so they know the difference; so to me the whole 'teenage thing' has been in a weird way less problematic because I've actually let her make choices."

Freaky Friday is at number four.

The old-fashioned western rides again in the drama Open Range, the simple story of couple of cowboys driving their herd across the prairie when they run up against a greedy rancher.

"Without consciously doing it, I found I was going into a lighter side of this guy," said Robert Duvall. "These cowboys do have their own kind of humor, and so I tried to find that without belaboring it. They can be men of few words, but when they do speak they have things to say that are kind of wise but humorous, too; and to play a guy like this I had to find my own sense of wisdom."

Kevin Costner co-stars and directs the wild west drama, and Open Range sits tall in the saddle in third place, just behind a modern day police action-drama.

Samuel L. Jackson leads a team of Special Weapons and Tactics officers in S.W.A.T. Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez co-star and S.W.A.T. sits in second place.

Held over at number one: the horror-fantasy grudge match that pairs two modern icons of evil (on film, that is): Freddy Versus Jason

Freddy Krueger, the disfigured, unstoppable killer from the Nightmare on Elm Street series of horror films goes up against the equally unstoppable murderer from the Friday the 13th series, Jason Vorhees. In this incarnation, Ken Kerzinger plays Jason, the killer in the hockey mask.

"Jason is obviously much bigger and stronger than Freddy, but Freddy is much smarter than Jason and has a whole world to himself where he is sort of lord and godlike," explained Kerzinger. "He uses that to manipulate Jason and to take advantage of Jason; but ultimately Jason relies on his strength to try and overcome Freddy. "

A long-awaited treat for slasher movie fans, Freddy Versus Jason achieves what no other film has during this summer season of sequels and 'event' films: it's the number one film for a second week in a row. The only other film that spent two weeks in the top spot this season did not have consecutive weeks at number one. That film is Finding Nemo, which does enter the record books this week as the most successful animated film in Hollywood history.

Freddy Versus Jason remains the most popular movie at North American theaters.