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WEEKEND BOXOFFICE REPORT: 'Pearl Harbor' Wins This Battle, but 'Shrek' Could Return to Win the War for No. 1

4 Jun, 2001 By: Ed Ochs

What June gloom? Not at the movies. Early summer '01 belongs to Pearl Harbor and Shrek, but even the silly newcomers and a musical(!) are getting in the act, as Pearl Harbor, Shrek, The Animal, Moulin Rouge and What's the Worst That Could Happen? finished one through five, generating $100 million in ticket sales and helping to make the first weekend in June a memorable one at the box office.

Buena Vista's Pearl Harbor captured the No. 1 slot again with an estimated $30 million in its second weekend, lifting its 10-day total to just under $120 million and placing it more solidly on course to beat the magic figure of $200 million domestically. Pearl Harbor becomes the fifth member of the $100 million club this year.

Brimming with staying power, Shrek is on its merry way to becoming the fastest-climbing animated film in history, and has a lock on No. 2 with an estimated $28.4 million in its third weekend. Moreover, Shrek is giving Pearl Harbor a run for its money (Shrek costs about $48 million to make, Pearl Harbor $150 million), while boosting its 17-day total to an astounding $148.6 million. Shrek is such a force in the marketplace that it could outgross Pearl Harbor next weekend and reclaim No. 1, even in the face of David Duchovny's Evolution and John Travolta's Swordfish openings.

Sony's The Animal, starring Rob Schneider, topped this weekend's debuts by grossing an estimated $19.8 million. Schneider's last film, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, opened with $12.2 million in December 1999, so Schneider definitely seems to be on the right track. And Revolution Studios, which bowed with a bomb in Tomcats, seems to be back on track. The Animal captured its core audience of young males as well as young adults looking for this summer's Dumb and Dumber.

Winning audiences with its high-concept musical romance, Fox's fantastical Nicole Kidman-driven Moulin Rouge sustained the momentum it had built up during two weeks of exclusive showings in New York and LA, landing at No. 4 with an estimated $14.2 million. The hit single from the film, a remake of "Lady Marmalde" by current pop stars, helped drive into theaters tuned-in MTV teens and young adults who might not otherwise have seen the cool in Moulin Rouge.

MGM's Martin Lawrence-Danny DeVito comedy What's the Worst That Can Happen? (besides a long title) overcame the supply of comedy films on the market to score an estimated $13.3 million. The PG-13 showcase for the out-of-control antics of Lawrence and DeVito brought in the young adult males. Worst That Could Happen is no Big Momma's House, which opened a year ago this weekend with $25.7 million, but Worst That Could Happen? weathered weekend competition Big Momma didn't, and deserves credit for finding a solid audience as it passes through the eye of the hurricane known as Pearl Harbor, Shrek and now The Animal.

Tumbling out of the top 10: Paramount's long-lasting Along Came a Spider ($71.9 million total); Miramax's Spy Kids ($106 million total); and New Line's Blow ($52 million total).

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