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'Apes' Climbs to Record Heights

July 31, 2001|Robert W. Welkos

It's enough to make Hollywood go bananas. "Planet of the Apes," the Tim Burton-directed "re-imagining" of the classic sci-fi film of a generation ago, captured a whole new legion of fans and drew in nostalgia buffs as it debuted with $68.5 million--the second-biggest three-day opening ever and biggest non-holiday opening.

Only Steven Spielberg's 1997 sequel, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," opened bigger, with $72.1 million.

"Planet of the Apes" was also 20th Century Fox's biggest opening, and it had the best Friday single-day gross in history with $25 million.

The movie provided a boost to summer box office overall, pushing revenues since Memorial Day weekend over the $2-billion mark and fueling hopes that this summer might yet overtake 1999's $3-billion record season.

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Weekend Box Office

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Three-day gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. "Planet of the Apes" $68.5 3,500 1 (Fox) $68.5 $19,581 2. "Jurassic Park III" $22.5 3,439 2 (Universal) $124.8 $6,555 3. "America's Sweethearts" $15.4 3,011 2 (Sony/Columbia) $59.1 $5,115 4. "Legally Blonde" $9.0 2,725 3 (MGM) $59.8 $3,305 5. "The Score" $7.1 2,211 3 (Paramount) $49.1 $3,190 6. "Dr. Dolittle 2" $4.63 2,188 6 (Fox) $101.2 $2,188 7. "Cats & Dogs" $4.62 2,816 4 (Warner Bros.) $81.6 $1,640 8. "The Fast and the Furious" $4.1 2,385 6 (Universal) $132.5 $1,715 9. "Scary Movie 2" $2.7 2,179 4 (Dimension) $67.2 $1,247 10. "Shrek" $1.8 1,439 11 (DreamWorks) $255.5 $1,246

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SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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