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The Drew Barrymore-Adam Sandler romantic comedy "50 First Dates" was tops at the box office again this weekend, as a fistful of new releases found themselves mostly stood up. "50 First Dates" earned an estimated $21 million, raising its 10-day total to $72.3 million for the reunion of Barrymore and Sandler in a story where she keeps forgetting they are going out because she suffers from short-term memory loss.
But none of the weekend's four new releases did very well, and overall box office receipts were down 21 percent from a year ago.
"Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," a young-chick flick with Lindsay Lohan, was the strongest of the new crop but placed a distant second, with $9.2 million.
"Welcome to Mooseport," a comedy with Gene Hackman and Ray Romano, finished fourth with an estimated $7 million, just ahead of the $6.6 million taken in by the raunchy adolescent comedy "Eurotrip."
"Against the Ropes," which stars Meg Ryan as a boxing manager, made only $3 million, finishing in eighth place. It's the actress' second flop, following "In the Cut."
Theater owners are hoping for better news next weekend with Mel Gibson's high-buzz "The Passion of the Christ," which opens in theaters Wednesday.
Other releases include "Twisted," a thriller with Samuel L. Jackson and Ashley Judd, the lowbrow comedy "Broken Lizard's Club Dread," and "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights," a retelling of the "Dirty Dancing" story set in pre-Castro Cuba.
(c) 2004, New York Daily News. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.