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MediaCircus' Winners & Sinners: May 2001

Special Feature by Anthony Leong © Copyright 2001

Artwork courtesy of

Shrek, featuring the voices of Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers

If the month of May was any indication, it's going to be a very hot summer for moviegoers. With studios giving wide berth to the super-sized "The Mummy Returns" and "Pearl Harbor", there were slim pickings in terms of new releases to choose from-- 5, compared to 12 at the same time last year and 10 the year before that. But even with fewer new films opening, audiences hit their local theaters in droves, catapulting the weekend box office totals for the month to an impressive level of $478 million, exceeding last year's comparable by $5 million. Other than the traditionally slow Mother's Day weekend, "The Mummy Returns" and "Pearl Harbor" significantly buoyed each weekend's take to levels above those of the year prior. In addition to the 'popcorn heavyweights', audiences had a good selection of other films to choose from, some new and 'winners' held over from last month, such as "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Blow", and "Memento".

Zhang Ziyi of The Road Home

The month of May also had the best weekend box office in history, as the monster Memorial Day weekend take of $186.6 million broke the previous record of $184.8 million set last year, courtesy of "Mission: Impossible 2". Hopefully, May's magnificent showing is a portent for more great films and more smashed box office records in the coming months.

Contributing to the terrific kick-off to the summer moviegoing season are this month's list of winners:

Kate Beckinsale and Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor

Comprising what may end up being the shortest list of sinners this year:

Moviegoing continues to heat up in June with a heavy slate of new releases. Among the films bowing in megaplexes are Ivan Reitman's sci-fi-comedy "Evolution", "Tomb Raider" with Angelina Jolie filling the shoes of video game vixen Lara Croft, the animated Disney epic "Atlantis", and the John Travolta modem-and-mayhem actioner "Swordfish". But then again, the slate of new releases also includes some questionable choices, such as "The Animal", "Dr. Doolittle 2", and "What's the Worst That Can Happen?" Will the month of June be remembered for its winners, or be reviled for its sinners? Stay tuned until next time...

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