“Toy Story 2” Scores Easy Box-Office Victory

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Toy Story 2“ remained on top of the North A merican box office in its second weekend of release as overall ticket sales slid in the traditional post-Thanksgiving slump, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The comedy starring animated dolls, which Walt Disney Pictures produced with Pixar Animation Studios Inc., earned about $28.3 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, a 50 percent decline from its three-day haul one weekend earlier.

The rankings of the top four films were unchanged from last weekend, and there were no new entries in the top 10. The 1999 box office champ, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace“ reentered theaters on a limited basis in a one-week charity run. It grossed an estimated $1.2 million from 832 prints, said Twentieth Century Fox. The film`s total now stands at $430 million. The latest James Bond movie, “The World Is Not Enough“ (MGM) held the No. 2 spot with $10.6 million, followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger`s “End of Days“ (Universal) with $9.7 million and “Sleepy Hollow“ (Paramount) with $9.0 million. “The Bone Collector“ (Universal) moved up one place to No. 5 with $3.1 million.

“Toy Story 2“ has earned $117.3 million after two weekends in wide release. It passed the $100 million mark on Saturday, its 11th day of release, matching the pace set by Disney`s 1994 “The Lion King.“ Disney said its current weekend haul was the fourth highest for any weekend in December, after “Scream 2“ and two rounds of “Titanic.“

It also beat the original 1995 “Toy Story“ to claim the title for the first weekend in December.

While a 50-percent slide in ticket sales sounds precipitous, it is normal for the weekend following a huge holiday period. Ticket sales for the studio`s 1998 Thanksgiving champ, “A Bug`s Life,“ fell 48 percent the next weekend.

“The World Is Not Enough,“ which fell 54 percent from last weekend, has grossed $90.4 million after 17 days in release. “End of Days,“ off 53 percent, has picked up $45.9 million after 10 days; “Sleepy Hollow,“ down 51 percent, has reached a 17-day tally of $45.9 million; and “The Bone Collector,“ off 43 percent, has corralled $58.1 million after one month.

Walt Disney Pictures is a unit of Walt Disney Co. Universal Pictures is a unit of Seagram Co. Ltd. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc. Twentieth Century Fox is a unit of Fox Entertainment Group Inc.

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