Originally created 08/04/98

'Saving Private Ryan' still No. 1 slot

LOS ANGELES -- Pushing aside a Disney comedy, an action-adventure flick and a modern take on Cinderella, "Saving Private Ryan" kept its hold atop the box office for the second week.

The graphic World War II epic earned an estimated $23.3 million over the weekend, grossing $73 million overall, according to industry estimates released Sunday.

Disney's remake of "The Parent Trap" opened in second place with $11.5 million in weekend ticket sales, while two other new films, "The Negotiator" and "Ever After," placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

"There's Something About Mary," a raunchy comedy that opened three weeks ago as a surprise hit, moved up a notch to third place with $11 million to beat out the "The Negotiator." That police drama, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey, debuted with $10.4 million, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

"There's Something About Mary" saw its ticket sales fall a relatively paltry 12 percent from the previous week.

"This is a farcical comedy that works," said Art Rockwell, analyst for Drake and Co. "It's got incredible legs. It's just not dropping off."

"Ever After," starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston in a new twist on the Cinderella story, opened with $8.5 million to tie for fifth place with "The Mask of Zorro."

The "The Parent Trap" benefited from an audience that still remembers the 1961 original, Buena Vista Pictures said. It opened strong on Wednesday, giving it a cumulative total of $16.6 million.

"There are a terrific number of women who saw the first one who are going in groups -- some with their children, some without," said Phil Bartlow, Buena Vista's president of distribution. "We're also getting some of the teen-age girls."

Lindsay Lohan stars in the dual role of twin girls -- played by Hayley Mills in the original -- who try to reunite their divorced mother and father, played by Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson.

"Lethal Weapon 4" placed seventh with $7.7 million, breaking the $100 million mark in its fourth week.

"Armageddon" was next with $7.5 million while "Doctor Dolittle" and "Mafia" rounded out the top 10 with $4.4 million and $3.6 million, respectively.

"BASEketball," a sports satire from "Naked Gun's" David Zucker that stars TV's "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, opened in eleventh place with $3 million.

Here are estimated grosses for the top movies at North American theaters for Friday through Sunday as compiled by Exhibitor Relations, Inc. Final figures were expected Monday:

1. "Saving Private Ryan," $23.3 million.

2. "The Parent Trap," $11.5 million.

3. "There's Something About Mary," $11 million.

4. "The Negotiator," $10.4 million.

5. (tie) "Ever After," $8.5 million.

5. "The Mask of Zorro," $8.5 million.

7. "Lethal Weapon 4," $7.7 million.

8. "Armageddon," $7.5 million.

9. "Doctor Dolittle," $4.4 million.

10. "Mafia," $3.6 million.


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