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Monday, 3 January, 2000, 10:26 GMT
Hollywood's new big cheese

Dinner is served: Stuart Little with his nemesis, Snowbell the cat

Move over Mickey, there's a new big cheese in Hollywood and his name is Stuart Little.

Stuart's co-stars: Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki and Geena Davis
The mouse star's eponymous debut film roared back to the top of the US box office chart over the millennium weekend, after opening at No 1 two weeks ago.

The film, based on EB White's children's tale and featuring the voice of Michael J Fox as the lovable rodent, grossed $16m (10m) over the holiday weekend, bringing its 17-day total to almost $80m (50m).

Combining computer animation with live action, Stuart Little is the cute story of a talking mouse who learns the true meaning of family, loyalty and friendship when he is raised by the Littles - a family of humans.

Nathan Lane provides the voice of his arch enemy, Snowbell the cat, while Geena Davis and Britain's Hugh Laurie play the lead humans.

Stuart Little will have to be patient if he's looking to repeat his box office success across the Atlantic though - the film is not scheduled to be released in the UK until the summer.

Mickey's back

The millennium weekend also saw a big screen comeback for Disney's veteran rodent, Mickey Mouse.

Rodent wars: Disney star Mickey Mouse
The updated version of the 1940 movie which combined animation with classical music went on limited worldwide release in selected giant screen Imax cinemas.

Excellent early estimates show that Fantasia 2000 looks like it's going to be a much bigger success than the original - Disney's first box office flop.

Disney's bumper 1999

The final box office figures for 1999 are also expected to reveal that Disney is still America's most successful studio.

In a year that saw ticket sales rise almost 5% to 1.48 billion, Disney has cornered 17% of the market, clinching the No 1 box office spot for the fifth time in six years.

A total of 24 films, including Toy Story 2, The Sixth Sense and Tarzan, grossed more than $100m (60m) each, helping "The Mouse House" beat other studio giants Warner Bros, Universal and Paramount.

Fox are set to finish in fifth place, but get a consolation prize for enjoying the biggest haul of the year. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace grossed $430m (270m) in 1999.

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See also:
25 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Fantasia's millennium makeover
28 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Thais banish Anna and the King
20 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Beauty's Golden Globe rush

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