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'Mission' Sequel Poised to Stop 'Dinosaur' in Its Tracks

Box Office * Films' grosses may help set holiday weekend record.

May 29, 2000|RICHARD NATALE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

"M:I-2" looks to be the dominant film in what is shaping up to be a record-breaking Memorial Day weekend at the box office.

The "Mission: Impossible" sequel, which opened Wednesday and had a cushion of more than $20 million going into the weekend, is expected to gross $59 million for the first three days of the four-day weekend. If those numbers hold up, "M:I-2" will surpass the business "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace" did over the holiday weekend last year.

Though Disney was not officially reporting, the other big film of the weekend appears to be "Dinosaur," which should bring in more than $25 million from Friday through Sunday.

The Disney debut of "Shanghai Noon" seems to be operating in "M:I-2's" shadow and may manage about $15 million over the weekend, or slightly better than "Gladiator's" estimated $12.9 million. "Road Trip" rounds out the top five with about $10.3 million in its second weekend.

With the top 12 films grossing perhaps $134 million in the first three days of the holiday, the final tally will likely break the four-day record for the 1997 Memorial Day holiday period of $148 million, according to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.

The remaining top 10 films are expected to be "Frequency," "Small Time Crooks," "Center Stage," "U-571" and "Where the Heart Is." A full tally of the holiday weekend box office will appear in Tuesday's Calendar section.

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