The top two trade paperback bestsellers this week—Michael Cunningham's The Hours at #1 and Frank W. Abagnale's Catch Me if You Can at #2—owe their success on the charts to their boffo performance at the movie theaters. The Hours, playing at only 11 theaters nationwide, had an astounding $32,000+ per-engagement average (The Two Towers and Catch Me, #1 and #2 on Variety's movie charts, are running closer to $7,000 in about 3,600 and 3,100 theaters, respectively). Two other movies that are doing well at the box office, Gangs of New York and Antwone Fisher, are also boosting book sales; both tie-ins (the latter's tie-in memoir, Finding Fish, was published by Harper mass market) are runners-up on the paperback charts. The third-highest-grossing film of 2002, The Two Towers, opened mid-December; sales of that book (and the other titles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) are also on the top-15 paperback charts or among the runners-up.
Cunningham's The Hours won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in spring 1999 and Picador published the paperback in January 2000. There are more than 1.2 million copies in print and more than 425,000 of those are the movie tie-in edition. The movie has raked in seven nominations for the Golden Globe Awards, which will be announced January 19, two days after the film goes into wide release. It has already been named Best Picture of the Year by the National Board of Review.