Date: 21st November 2000

Will The Grinch Keep Christmas?

Universal's Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas from the team of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard fired up the holiday box office with an opening take of $55.1 million over the weekend. Analysts said Monday that they were surprised by a huge turnout of teens and young adults (no doubt anxious to see Jim Carrey done up in his Grinch makeup and costume). Parents who had read the classic Dr. Seuss tale to their children -- and who no doubt had heard it first from their own parents -- packed theaters in hope that the moviemakers had done the story justice. The answer will come in the weeks ahead as word-of-mouth kicks in. Analysts on Monday were predicting that the film would likely earn more than $200 million domestically. But others noted that the film faces stiff competition from other family offerings in the weeks ahead. Disney is preparing a one-two punch, releasing the live-action 102 Dalmatians over the Thanksgiving holiday this week and the animated The Emperor's New Groove next month. But Grinch producer Grazer said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he believes the film's toughest rival will be Unbreakable from The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan, which also opens over Thanksgiving. "I don't think we are going to beat Unbreakable," Grazer told the WSJ, "but I do feel like we will sustain the momentum." The top 12 films this weekend took in $147.4 million, up 42 percent over the same weekend a year ago.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date): 1. Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Universal, $55,082,330, (New); 2. Rugrats In Paris: The Movie, Paramount, $22,718,184, (New); 3. Charlie's Angels, Sony, $13,361,646, ($93,258,819); 4. The 6th Day, Sony, $13,020,883, (New); 5. Bounce, Miramax, $11,423,716, (New); 6. Men of Honor, 20th Century Fox, $7,906,419, ($24,918,784); 7. Little Nicky, New Line, $7,753,107, ($26,506,194); 8. Meet The Parents, Universal, $6,367,685, ($138,513,485); 9. Red Planet, Warner Bros., $2,818,384, ($13,516,530); 10. The Legend of Bagger Vance, DreamWorks, $2817983, ($25,220,736).

Source: Studio Briefing



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