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WEEKEND BOXOFFICE REPORT: ‘Lara Croft’ Leaps Into the Big Game at No. 1

18 Jun, 2001 By: Hive News


Another 2001 debut is headed to sequel as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider exploded at No. 1 and lapped the competition, while Disney's animated Atlantis: The Lost Empire took over second place from unsinkable Shrek, which hung tough at No. 3. The frenzy of activity drove the box office to its biggest non-holiday weekend of the year.

Paramount's PG-13 Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, was the unanimous No. 1 this weekend, capturing the top spot with an estimated $48.2 million, the studio's second-biggest debut after MI-2's $57.8 million -- and the fourth strongest opening of the year. It's also the biggest debut for a movie based on a video game, which bodes well for Final Fantasy bowing next month, and could trigger more film focus on hit games as hot content. On the other hand, if the $80 million film's fan base swelled up the opening numbers, it still remains to be seen what kind of staying power Tomb Raider has before it runs out of audience and hits the "Game Over" button.

Disney's PG undersea adventure Atlantis, starring the voice of Michael J. Fox, surfaced with an estimated $20.4 million. Timing was everything here, as Shrek was beginning its slow descent, and audiences were looking for the next animated excursion. Sure, Shrek remains a force, but it did not deter family cartoon hunters from finding their way to the opening of Atlantis, although it did keep a lid on Atlantis. Without the music and comedy some moviegoers might expect, Atlantis still had enough Disney and enough quality to make its own mark in a constantly-shifting marketplace.

Yes, DreamWorks' Shrek continued its amazing journey in third place with an estimated $12.9 million, boosting its total to $197.2 million, making it the highest-grossing movie of the year.

Dropping to No. 4, Warner Bros.' Swordfish, starring John Travolta, hooked an estimated $12.2 million in its second weekend, bringing its total to $39.2 million.

Pearl Harbor watchers, especially Disney, will be delighted to discover that the Buena Vista war epic added $9.5 million to its total, which now stands at $160 million. Hollywood debate over Disney's high expectations for Pearl Harbor follows the film's push to hit the $200 million mark, soon to be crossed by Shrek and The Mummy Returns ($193.2 million total to date).

Opening strongly in limited release was Fox Searchlight's British crime drama Sexy Beast, starring Ben Kingsley, which will expand markets and cities into July. Also generating solid support was Sony's Hindu-language Lagaan, starring Aamir Khan.

Tumbling out of the top 10: Sony's modieval A Knight's Tale ($54.3 million total to date), and British comedy Bridget Jones's Diary ($68.6 million total to date).


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