Weekend Box Office (June 1 - 3, 2001)

THIS WEEKEND The month of June got off to a red-hot start as the top five films alone collected over $100M led by the blockbusters Pearl Harbor, from Buena Vista, and DreamWorks' Shrek. The new releases The Animal, Moulin Rouge, and What's the Worst That Could Happen? rounded out the top five with healthy debuts as the box office shattered the previous record for the first weekend of June.

Pearl Harbor topped the charts once again grossing $29.6M in its second weekend, according to final studio figures, dropping a reasonable 50% from the Friday-to-Sunday portion of its Memorial Day weekend opening. Playing in 3,214 theaters, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced war saga averaged a sturdy $9,197 per site and boosted its ten-day total to $118.9M. On Saturday, Pearl Harbor became the fifth film released this year to cross the $100M mark reaching the milestone in only nine days.

The mega-budgeted action-romance witnessed a second weekend decline that was slightly better than the drops that other recent non-sequel event pictures experienced after opening over Memorial Day weekend. Mission: Impossible fell 52% in 1996 when comparing three-day periods while 1998's Godzilla tumbled 59%. Pearl Harbor should be able to surpass the $200M mark domestically.

Launching its overseas assault just one week after its domestic bow, Pearl Harbor opened with about $12M from six markets this weekend setting new company records for Buena Vista International in most territories. The three-hour epic debuted with estimates of $4.6M in the United Kingdom, $2.3M in Italy, $2M in South Korea, $1.2M in Brazil, $800,000 in Singapore, and $700,000 in Malaysia.

Displaying remarkable legs in second place was the animated smash Shrek which slipped just 34% to $28.2M in its third weekend. The fairy tale with a twist has collected a towering $148.4M and will become the fastest animated film to reach $150M on Monday after only 18 days. Averaging a meaty $7,695 from 3,661 theaters, Shrek is benefiting from stellar word-of-mouth which is driving repeat sales, according to DreamWorks distribution head Jim Tharp. "Everyone is embracing this movie and it plays so well to all age groups," he remarked. Given its smaller rate of depreciation, Shrek should outgross Pearl Harbor next weekend and will try to claim the number one spot against newcomers Evolution and Swordfish.

Rob Schneider's comedy The Animal delivered the best debut among the weekend's three new national releases grossing $19.6M. The Sony release averaged a terrific $7,034 from 2,788 theaters and experienced a solid 32% Friday-to-Saturday increase. The opening bested the $12.2M that Schneider's last film Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo took in during its debut frame in December 1999. Carrying a negative cost of $22M, The Animal delivered good news to its producer Revolution Studios which flopped this spring with its first release Tomcats. Sony reported that The Animal went beyond its core young male demographic and displayed broad appeal which it hopes will establish it as the summer comedy of choice in the early part of the season.

Moviegoers were asked "voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" and answered with a definite "yes" as Fox's lavish musical romance Moulin Rouge expanded into wide release after two weeks of exclusive runs in New York and Los Angeles and landed in fourth place with $13.7M. Playing in 2,279 theaters, the PG-13 film averaged a rosy $6,019 per location and brought its total gross to $14.4M. The Nicole Kidman-Ewan McGregor picture performed best with young women as 62% of the audience was female and 69% were under the age of 30, according to data released by the studio. "It's very tough to open something different and original," stated Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder about Moulin Rouge, "but we're very happy with the results." Snyder also noted that the film's hit single "Lady Marmalade," which is the number one song in the country, contributed greatly to the opening making the $50M film "hip and cool" to teens and young adults.

Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito debuted in fifth place with their new comedy What's the Worst That Could Happen? which grossed $13M. The MGM release averaged a good $4,878 from 2,675 theaters and performed best with adult males. The PG-13 film's audience was 55% male and 70% over the age of 25, according to the studio's distribution president Larry Gleason. Budgeted at $42M, Worst witnessed an encouraging Friday-to-Saturday increase of 35% and attracted strong support from African-American moviegoers, according to MGM exit polls. Lawrence's last comedy, Big Momma's House, opened this weekend a year ago with a larger $25.7M debut, though it was the only new film of that frame.

Dropping to sixth place in its fifth weekend was Universal's The Mummy Returns with $7.8M pushing its overall total to a staggering $181.2M. The medieval action-romance A Knight's Tale claimed $3.4M giving the Sony release $49.4M to date.

Miramax took eighth place with Bridget Jones's Diary which grossed $2M for a $65.4M cume. Jennifer Lopez's cop thriller Angel Eyes followed with $1.9M giving the Warner Bros. film $21.7M. Rounding out the top ten was the indie film hit Memento with $1.1M giving the Newmarket title a solid $16.1M from its semi-national release.

Three March hits dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. Paramount's kidnapping picture Along Came A Spider took in $745,036 pushing its cume to $71.8M. The $28M Morgan Freeman-Monica Potter thriller should reach about $75M. The $35M family adventure film Spy Kids reached a terrific gross of $105.9M in its tenth weekend and should conclude with $106-109M. New Line's drug saga Blow has taken in $52.2M to date and should finish with roughly $54M.

Compared to projections, The Animal opened a few notches higher than my $16M forecast. Moulin Rouge and What's the Worst That Could Happen? debuted close to my respective projections of $13M and $15M.

The top ten films grossed $120.3M which was up a healthy 27% from last year when Mission: Impossible 2 remained in the top spot with $27M; and up a remarkable 56% from 1999 when Star Wars Episode I sat at number one with $32.9M.

Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on which blockbuster will reach the highest gross - The Mummy Returns, Pearl Harbor, or Shrek. In last week's survey, readers were asked which of this weekend's three new releases would have the biggest debut. Of 2,707 responses, 46% guessed Moulin Rouge, 29% thought What's the Worst That Could Happen? while only 25% correctly picked The Animal.

Read the Weekly Rewind column which reports on the box office success of films this year with African-American stars. For a review of The Animal visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Swordfish and Evolution both open.

Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines

# Title June 1 - 3 May 25 - 27 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Dist.
1 Pearl Harbor $ 29,558,276 $ 59,078,912 -50.0 3,214 2 $ 9,197 $ 118,853,439 Buena Vista
2 Shrek 28,172,869 42,481,425 -33.7 3,661 3 7,695 148,361,421 DreamWorks
3 The Animal 19,610,520 2,788 1 7,034 19,610,520 Sony
4 Moulin Rouge 13,718,306 193,098 2,279 3 6,019 14,394,913 Fox
5 What's the Worst That Could Happen? 13,049,114 2,675 1 4,878 13,049,114 MGM
6 The Mummy Returns 7,753,680 15,135,780 -48.8 3,204 5 2,420 181,181,185 Universal
7 A Knight's Tale 3,417,394 7,258,847 -52.9 2,441 4 1,400 49,423,047 Sony
8 Bridget Jones's Diary 2,014,889 3,349,459 -39.8 1,301 8 1,549 65,358,871 Miramax
9 Angel Eyes 1,888,660 4,928,482 -61.7 2,007 3 941 21,715,354 Warner Bros.
10 Memento 1,090,562 1,565,255 -30.3 479 12 2,277 16,051,557 Newmarket
11 Along Came a Spider 745,036 2,111,674 -64.7 810 9 920 71,823,600 Paramount
12 Spy Kids 438,335 1,296,841 -66.2 731 10 600 105,876,618 Miramax
13 Blow 359,650 1,242,824 -71.1 417 9 862 52,231,443 New Line
14 Driven 344,696 1,227,553 -71.9 612 6 563 31,762,844 Warner Bros.
15 O Brother Where Art Thou? 314,271 234,866 33.8 372 24 845 44,207,095 Buena Vista
16 Crocodile Dundee in LA 305,211 956,082 -68.1 720 7 424 24,312,470 Paramount
17 The Tailor of Panama 272,437 730,383 -62.7 291 10 936 12,884,112 Sony
18 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 269,610 460,376 -41.4 276 26 977 127,152,098 Sony Classics
19 Nuit de Noces 241,697 75 1 3,223 241,697 Films Seville
20 Save the Last Dance 214,142 463,998 -53.8 272 21 787 90,171,493 Paramount
Top 5 $ 104,109,085 $ 128,883,446 -19.2
Top 10 120,274,270 137,422,090 -12.5
Top 20 123,779,355 141,942,181 -12.8
Top 20 vs. 2000 123,779,355 99,481,319 24.4

Last Updated : June 4, 2001 at 8:30PM EDT