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Saturday - June 30, 2001
- A.I. has $10 Million Friday Opening
- BBFC Orders Tomb Raider Edits for U.K. Moviegoers
- Final Fantasy Premiere Set for Monday
- News Link of the Day - Fantasia 2000 - So-So Sorcery

Artificial IntelligenceA.I. has $10 Million Friday Opening
(by Steven Spielberg's disturbing AI movie had a huge $10 million Friday opening. While the opening was strong, it fell short of several films this year including Shrek, Pearl Harbor, The Mummy Returns, The Fast and the Furious, and Hannibal).

AI made $10.1 million in 3,242 theaters and will likely have grossed over $32 million by the end of the weekend.

After rave reviews by Newsweek and Time Magazine surfaced weeks ago, newer reviews of AI began taking a more mixed tone to the film with some high-profile publications like The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle giving the film negative reviews. The main conflict amongst critics is that neither the late Stanley Kubrick's vision was realized or Steven Spielberg vision. By trying to create a "Stanley Kubrick" movie Spielberg mixed two vastly different director styles (his and Kubrick's) to instead create a disjointed, yet fascinating, film.

In other Friday box office news, Doctor Doolittle 2 brought in $4.5 million, Tomb Raider brought in $2.8 million, Atlantis brought in $2.2 million, and Shrek brought in $2.0 million.

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BBFC Orders Tomb Raider Edits for UK Audience
(by Tomb Raider has been edited for UK audiences at the demand of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the U.K.'s governing film agency (the equivalent of the MPAA in the U.S.). If the filmmakers had refused to make the requested edits then the film would have been slapped with a "15 certificate" rating, alienating much of the film's potential audience from seeing the movie (those 15 and under).

The BBFC expressed concern over several violent scenes, mostly ones involving knives. Paramount Pictures has made the requested edits in time for the July 6 release of the film in the UK

Here's the BBFC's explanation:

"Company chose to significantly reduce sight of a flick knife in several scenes, removing in particular material which appeared to glamorize the weapon , in order to achieve a 12. An uncut 15 was available to the distributor. The distributor also sought and was given advice during post-production which resulted in a reduction in violence in the final fight sequence (including the complete removal of a headbutt) prior to formal submission."

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Final Fantasy Premiere Set for Monday
(by The world premiere of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within will take place this Monday in Hollywood at the Mann Bruin Theater. Being released by Columbia Pictures and Square Pictures, the movie has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America. Hironobu Sakaguchi directs from an original screenplay written by Al Reinert and Jeff Vintar. The story was by Hironobu Sakaguchi, also the creator of the Final Fantasy games. Motonori Sakakibara co-directs. The film features the voices of actors Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Ming-Na, Ving Rhames, Donald Sutherland and James Woods, among others. Sakaguchi, Jun Aida and Chris Lee are producers.

The movie is being released nationally on July 11.

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News Link of the Day - Spielberg’s AI Faces Big Marketing Hurdles

According to MSNBC:

"The difficulty facing Warner Bros. in marketing Steven Spielberg’s new movie AI: Artificial Intelligence can best be understood in the mangled words of NBC’s 'Today' co-host Matt Lauer. A few weeks ago, Mr. Lauer and partner Katie Couric were bantering on the air about movies when Mr. Lauer referred to 'A-One'— mistaking the title of the movie about a robot boy who longs to become real for the name of a popular steak sauce. It’s a worrisome sign for a movie studio when its big summer movie is confused for a condiment…"

Click here for the full story.

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