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December 4, 2001

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Wizard on top

Som Chivukula

It's three in a row for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. A still from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

A week after Warner Bros' Harry Potter... placed number one at the box office with $57 million, it's back as the champ at the North American box office with $24 million.

The good news is that the film is placed at number one. The bad news is that the final figure is about 58 per cent below what it had grossed the previous weekend. After three weeks, it has pulled in $220 million, well on its way to a final gross of over $350 million.

Harry Potter... also faced some stiff competition from the patriotic action flick Behind Enemy Lines, starring Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson. The film, which received mixed reaction from critics, picked up $19.2 million to second place.

A still from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone "To be second to a cultural phenomenon, I'll take it,'' says Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution at Twentieth Century Fox, which released the action movie.

Spy Game, the espionage thriller starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt fared well in its second week, taking in $11.2 million for third place. The $90 million film has now grossed $46.9 million and is on its way to a final gross of near $70 million.

Harry Potter... was not the only film to reach the $200 million mark over the weekend. Disney-Pixar's Monsters Inc pulled in $9.4 million to push its tally to $204 million. With the holidays coming up and stiff competition from New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings, Monsters Inc is likely to end its run in North America with over $275 million.

A still from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Despite the performances of the top films, the top 12 films grossed just $83.6 million, the lowest total in five weeks. Analysts attributed the showings to the start of the holiday season where numerous people are outside shopping.

This week, Harry Potter... is sure to drop from the top spot as a highly awaited film debuts Ocean's Eleven, the remake of the 1960's classic. Starring a high octane cast led by George Clooney and Julia Roberts, the film is expected to do well in the key 18-35 age demographics.

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