Jeff Vespa/Wireimage
February 28, 2005 08:00 AM

Poor critical reviews didn’t keep audiences away from Diary of a Mad Black Woman, a part dramatic, part comedic film about a scorned woman who uses her faith and her family to overcome heartbreak, which took the top spot at the box office this weekend, the Associated Press reports.

The screenplay, written by Tyler Perry, was based on Perry’s stage play of the same name. He also played several roles in the film, including that of a gun-packing grandmother. It was Perry’s popularity, particularly among black audiences, that pushed the film to the No. 1 spot, said Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions Gate Films Releasing. “He’s a cultural phenomenon that is taking America by storm.”

Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, which tracks box-office receipts, said Diary “shows the power that the urban audience wields at the box office.”

Hitch, the Will Smith-Kevin James comedy, dropped to second place in its third week of release. It became the first movie of 2005 to earn more than $100 million at the box office.

With Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony, moviegoers were still trying to see some of the films that had been nominated, with Million Dollar Baby, which won Best Picture, in sixth place, and The Aviator in ninth place.

Here are the weekend’s top 10 films:

1. Diary of a Mad Black Woman, $22.7 million
2. Hitch, $21 million
3. Constantine, $11.8 million
4. Cursed, $9.6 million
5. Man of the House, $9 million
6. Million Dollar Baby, $7.2 million
7. Because of Winn-Dixie, $6.8 million
8. Are We There Yet? $4 million
9. The Aviator, $3.9 million
10. Son of the Mask, $3.8 million

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