Weekend Box Office

by Brandon Gray
June 21, 1999

This past weekend was a prime example of how a number of big movies can compliment rather than cannibalize each other, when there is no significant demographic overlapping. It was the first weekend ever to have three movies gross over $20 million.

Tarzan was king not just of the jungle, but of the box office. The $34.2 million take was enough to displace fellow swinger, Austin Powers, from the top spot. It was also the second largest opening ever for a cartoon, trailing only The Lion King's $40.9 million.

Austin Powers slid around 43% to an estimated $31.4 million. Though it was a significant drop, it was to be expected given the type of picture it is. With a total of $116.1 million, the picture has enough mojo in it to become the second most successful sequel of the decade, behind only Terminator 2.

The General's Daughter was the best example of counter-programming of the week. It was the only new release appealing almost entirely to adults. Couple that with the enormous star power of John Travolta, and you have a $22.3 million opening.

Tarzan only marginally affected The Phantom Menace, which still earned an $18.9 million in its fifth weekend. That's a drop of only around 26%. Fan Day seemed to have little affect, though, as the Saturday bump-up of 53.6% was its lowest since Memorial Day weekend.

The only pictures hurt significantly by the competition were adult skewing releases like Notting Hill, Instinct and Entrapment.

Editor's Note: Articles published before 2001 were assigned and reported as box office briefings, not a full evaluation or analysis.

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