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MediaCircus' Winners & Sinners: June 2001

Special Feature by Anthony Leong © Copyright 2001

Artwork courtesy of

Nicole Kidman of Moulin Rouge

With June having come and gone, it seems that the boffo box office momentum from May continues to be going strong. Every weekend in June this year outperformed those of the prior year, boosted by the predictable batch of strong performers, such as the continued presence of "Pearl Harbor" and the long-anticipated debut of "Tomb Raider", as well as some surprising stalwarts, such as urban actioner "The Fast and the Furious", the out-from-left-field "Swordfish", and the tenacious staying power of "Shrek". As a result, despite some good weather keeping people outdoors and the distraction of the NBA Finals, the weekend box office totals for the month of June added up to a $626 million, a cool 14% over last year's figures (which is even more impressive considering the sluggish economy).

Furthermore, it looks as though the 2001 summer box office is on track to topple the record $3 billion of 1999, especially with a number of high profile releases still in the pipeline, such as "Jurassic Park III". As of the end of June, summer ticket sales were already $90 million ahead of those achieved at the same time last year, and $50 million ahead of 1999's record $1.45 billion pace.

Unfortunately, despite audiences heading to their local theaters in droves and driving up ticket sales, there were mostly slim pickings to be had, with the mix of flicks tending more towards the mundane than the meaningful. Thus, if you saw a good movie this past month, it was most likely one of the following winners:

A lot of movies didn't work in June, as this list of sinners will attest:

Angelina Jolie of Tomb Raider

Looking ahead to July, movie aficionados can look forward to another (hopefully better) game-to-movie transition with "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", more dinosaur mayhem with "Jurassic Park III", those damned dirty apes in Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes" remake, Jet Li martial arts action and international espionage with "Kiss of the Dragon", and the comely combination of Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones in "America's Sweethearts". Will the boffo box office momentum continue through the height of summer? Until next time...

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