MediaCircus' Winners & Sinners: February 2001

Special Feature by Anthony Leong © Copyright 2001


Winners & Sinners artwork courtesy of AtNzone.com

Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore in Hannibal

The February blahs. I can't think of a better phrase to describe the selection of new releases this past month, which is the worst to grace the theatres since the low-point reached in March 2000. If you recall, during that month, other than the two bright spots of "Erin Brockovich" and "Final Destination", audiences had to put up with lackluster efforts such as "Whatever It Takes", "Drowning Mona", "Romeo Must Die", and that camp-classic "Mission to Mars".

But despite the dearth of worthwhile films, the February 2001 moviegoing period was rather lucrative for exhibitors, with box offices raking in an impressive $465 million in weekend admissions, compared to the $407 million level reached in February 2000, and the $356 million reached in February 1999. The source of this box office windfall was "Hannibal", the long-awaited sequel to 1991's "Silence of the Lambs", which devoured the competition in its first weekend with a surprising $58 million take, the third-largest opening weekend in film history (just behind "The Lost World" and "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace"). Since its debut, "Hannibal" has become a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut, with its firm grip on the top spot at the box office, while pulling in well over $100 million in its first three weeks of release.

Thus, for the month of February, it shouldn't be a surprise that the list of 'Winners' leads off with:

Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung are IntheMoodforLove

Finally, looking at the raft of 'Sinners' of the month:

David Arquette, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Christian Slater, and Bokeem Woodbine in 3000MilestoGraceland

Looking forward into the coming month, will movie offerings in March come roaring out of the gate like a lion, buoyed by enticing offerings such as the Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt comedy "The Mexican", the WW2 drama "Enemy at the Gates", and Robert "Desperado" Rodriguez's family-friendly actioner "Spy Kids"? Or will it instead emerge half-awake from the winter slumber like a lamb, with weak-kneed entries such as the latest Steven Seagal beat-em-up "Exit Wounds" or the highly-original 'Spring Break' comedy "Tomcats"? Stay tuned until next time...

Images courtesy of respective copyright holders. All rights reserved.


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