Date: 2nd January 2001

$100 Million Rolls In For Cast Away

Twentieth Century Fox executives had much to celebrate over the New Year's holiday as its Tom Hanks starrer Cast Away earned an estimated $41.5 million during the four-day frame, exceeding its take of $39.3 million a week earlier during the four-day Christmas holiday. The results appeared to surprise Fox executives.

"I had expected the film's earnings to be down a little because it was so big last weekend," Fox distribution chief Bruce Snyder told today's (Tuesday) Daily Variety. Cast Away has now earned $111.2 billion after only 11 days. Also finishing strong was Paramount's Mel Gibson comedy What Women Want, which earned about $25.4 million (also better than its Christmas tally) to bring its three-week total to $112.2 million. The biggest surprise was the $18.2 take for Warner Bros.' Miss Congeniality, which took in about $18.2 million -- 34 percent more than it did during its debut over the Christmas weekend. (Final figures could be affected by a furious snowstorm that struck much of the East Coast on Monday.) The top ten films for the four-day weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

1. Cast Away, $41.5 million; 2. What Women Want, $25.4 million; 3. Miss Congeniality, $18.2 million; 4. The Family Man, $16.8 million; 5. The Emperor's New Groove, $14.5 million; 6. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 9.7 million; 7. Vertical Limit, $8.1 million; 8. Dracula 2000, $5.3 million; 9. Dude, Where's My Car, $4.9 million; 10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, $4.7 million.

Source: Studio Briefing