|HOME | MOVIES | BILLBOARD|
|June 19, 2001||
Angelina Jolie explodes BO!
Video-game action heroine Lara Croft busted out in strong fashion on the silver screen, cashing in $47.7 million over the weekend.
Though it opened to mediocre reviews, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie, played well with its target audience, which was 55 per cent male.
Its opening is the largest ever for a film based on a video game, surpassing Pokemon, which debuted with $ 31 million.
"This is an explosive opening for Paramount," said Boxofficeguru.com editor Gitesh Pandya. "It proves a female can headline an action film."
Critics generally trashed the script but praised Jolie, the star of such films as Gone In 60 Seconds and Gia, for her volcanic performance. Many also pointed out Jolie's ample measurements, which would have males gasping.
"From her sensuous lips and smoldering glare to her Vargas figure, Jolie is the exaggerated male fantasy figure personified," wrote Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News.
Lou Lumenick in the New York Post said Tomb Raider is "a tedious bore that deserves early entombment."
But with heavy marketing that began last year, it was bound to be critic-proof.
"The core audience was going to see the movie over the weekend no matter what," mused Pandya. "Tomb Raider now leads the second wave of summer films."
"I'm thrilled," Rob Friedman, Paramount's vice chairman, told Variety. "We're definitely assured of a long-term playability. Angelina Jolie was just superb."
As Paramount executives are thrilled with the opening, the Disney brass is left wondering what's wrong with their formula.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the latest animated feature from the Mickey Mouse Company, opened to a lackluster $20.3 million. It is the lowest summer opening for a Disney movie since 1997 when Hercules debuted with $21 million.
Yet Disney distribution head Chuck Viane had a thumbs-up for the opening of Atlantis.
"In light of opening against a film that did almost $ 50 million, it's real good," Viane told Variety. "For us to be able to hang in on that one is real good."
Meanwhile, DreamWorks' Shrek continues to be the blockbuster of the year as it brought in another strong $13.2 million. With $197.5 million, it is the highest grossing film of the year surpassing The Mummy Returns ($ 193.5 million).
John Travolta's Swordfish showed some decent legs dropping just 33 per cent to $ 12.7 million. With nearly $ 40 million in the bank, it looks to end in the $ 65 million range.
Pearl Harbor, another heavily hyped Disney film, is seeing the blues. It brought in just $ 9.8 million, bringing its total to a very disappointing $ 160 million. With a cost of $ 140 million plus millions more spent on marketing, Pearl Harbor will have to do spectacular business in video sales to make a good showing for Disney.
But the film is doing well out of the US and now looks to end its run in North America with $ 185 million.
The top 10 films grossed a strong $ 125 million. This weekend will provide another jolt as Dr Dolittle 2 and The Fast And The Furious challenge Tomb Raider for top honors.
ASTROLOGY | BROADBAND | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | ROMANCE | WOMEN | WEDDING
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK