Stephen M. Silverman
May 27, 2003 12:08 PM

The new Jim Carrey comedy “Bruce Almighty” raked in a whopping $86.4 million this holiday weekend, easily unseating Keanu Reeves’s sci-fi thriller “The Matrix Reloaded” to become the No. 1 movie, according to studio estimates.

The two-week-old “Matrix Reloaded” — which so far has made a still-impressive $209.5 million — dropped 60 percent at the ticket windows this weekend, suggesting that interest in the film, which received mixed reviews and word of mouth, is waning, the Associated Press reports.

The overwhelming success of “Bruce” reportedly came as an industry surprise, but it must have made Carrey, 40, breathe a huge sigh of relief. After a recent series of clunkers — including the fairly maligned “The Majestic” — there were some questions over the studio’s wisdom to pay the once-reigning comedy star $25 million, his reported salary for “Bruce.”

The weekend’s other new movie, “The In-Laws,” starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks (and slaughtered by the critics who still love the 1979 Alan Arkin-Peter Falk version), did only tepid business, taking in $9.1 million.

The Top 10 movies for the long holiday weekend were as follows:

1. “Bruce Almighty,” $86.4 million
2. “The Matrix Reloaded,” $45.6 million
3. “Daddy Day Care,” $18 million
4. “X2: X-Men United,” $13 million
5. “The In-Laws,” $9.1 million
6. “Down With Love,” $5.1 million
7. “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” $4 million
8. “Holes,” $3 million
9. “Identity,” $2.6 million
10. “Anger Management,” $2.4 million

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