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Saturday - June 16, 2001
- Tomb Raider Opens Huge - Atlantis Struggles
- Wise and Hahn Defend PG Rating for Atlantis
- All Warner Bros. Stores to Close
- News Link of the Day - Disney Cuts Jobs and Pay to Save $$$

Tomb Raider Opens Huge - Atlantis Struggles
Tomb Raider Rules Box Office
(by Despite nearly unanimous negative reviews (Roger Ebert being one of the few with a positive one), Paramount's Tomb Raider took in a massive $17.6 million on Friday making it the easy victor at the box office and a shoe-in to win the weekend.

In second place on Friday was Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which took in $6.5 million. The opening is well under Disney's Tarzan two years ago which grossed $11.6 million in its opening day. The opening is also weaker than Disney's 1997 Hercules, which made $9.3 million, in fewer theaters, on its opening Friday.

Despite getting mixed reviews, Atlantis fell victim to its battle with Tomb Raider for the same audience. Atlantis was also hurt by Shrek, which came in third on Friday with $3.5 million, bringing its total to $188 million since opening a month ago.

> Visit the "Atlantis is Waiting" dFX Movie Site
> Track the Daily Box Office Results of Atlantis: The Lost Empire

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Wise and Hahn Defend PG Rating for Atlantis: The Lost Empire
(by Atlantis director Kirk Wise and producer Don Hahn are defending the film's PG rating, citing references to last year's Dinosaur as an example of a PG-rated animated Disney movie being able to perform well.

The Kansas City Star quotes Wise as stating, "We always knew there would be a level of activity and suspense that would earn it a PG. But a couple of years ago, Dinosaur went out with a PG rating, and that didn't hurt it a bit."

Dinosaur's final national gross was $137 million, considered a disappointment by many due to the film's anticipated event nature (as a dinosaur movie and as Disney's first "state of the art" CGI movie.) The amount didn't recover the costs of production although worldwide grosses and merchandising eventually did.

Hahn also defended the rating, claiming that the rating doesn't matter when it's a Disney animated film. "As far as moviegoers are concerned, our films aren't really rated G or PG. They're rated Disney."

Studies by The Dove Foundation have shown that, in reality, films perform much better when rated G versus PG. But you can't convince DreamWorks of that as Shrek nears the $200 million mark. After the PG-rated bomb, The Road to El Dorado, DreamWorks success with Shrek is setting it up as the film to beat at the Box Office this summer. By the end of next week, Shrek will surpass The Mummy Returns as the highest-grossing film of the year.

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All Warner Bros. Stores to Close
(by Giving a whole new meaning to "That's All Folks," Warner Bros. is planning on shutting down its remaining Warner Bros. stores by this fall. This follows the closing of several WB stores last year due to financial problems. Warner Bros. will completely exit the retail industry, ending its short attempt to compete with Disney Stores by offering unique WB merchandise.

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News Link of the Day - Disney Cuts Jobs and Pay to Save $$$

According to the New York Post:

"Walt Disney is firing 25 percent of the staff at its famed animation studio, which created classic hits such as The Lion King, Cinderella and Snow White.

Disney is slashing its work force there to about 1,368 at the end of 2003 from 1,846, to cut costs…"

Click here for the full story.

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