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Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Pearl Harbor tops summer box office
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor has defied its critics
Pearl Harbor has emerged as the top-grossing movie worldwide this summer - despite the barrage of negative reviews that greeted its arrival in the UK and US.

The World War II epic, that was panned for its contortion of history, poor dialogue and script, made $197m (136.4m) in the US and $234.4m (162m) abroad, according to trade newspaper Variety.

Its combined takings - for more than 30 markets - top the $425.8m (295m) notched up by animated fairy tale fantasy Shrek.
Shrek
Shrek looks set to be number one for the year

Comic horror sequel The Mummy Returns was also a hit, making $417.9m (289m).

By the close of the year, however, Pearl Harbor looks set to lose its crown to animated adventure Shrek.

The story about a grouchy but loveable green ogre has already made more than $262.9m (181m) in the US and $162.9m (112m) abroad.

Those takings will undoubtedly rise once the film opens in Scandinavia and Greece this weekend and in Japan in December.

Changes

Pearl Harbor did particularly well in Japan - the world's second biggest movie market - contrary to expectations given the film's potentially contentious story.

The film is a love story set around the bomb attack by Japan on the US military base which signalled America's entry into the war.

A.I: Artificial Intelligence
A.I: Artificial Intelligence went down well in Japan

However, defying expectations, Pearl Harbor was the 2001's third most successful film at the Japanese box office.

It was beaten by the Japanese-made cartoon Spirited Away and Steven Spielberg's sci-fi movie AI.

Pearl Harbor's better-than-expected achievement in Japan could be down to the concessions made for the market.

Parts of the script were changed for the Japanese version and it was promoted as a love story rather than a war movie.

And critics in Japan responded more favourably than those in the US and UK.

Buoyant

But Pearl Harbor also did well elsewhere. In Germany, it was the summer's second most popular movie behind the spoof western Der Schuh des Manitu.

In South Korea, it made $12m (8m), making it the country's fifth most successful movie to date. In China, Pearl Harbor has made $10.1m (7m) since its release four weeks ago.

The Mummy Returns
The Mummy Returns followed the success of the first film

In the UK, it racked up $18m (12m), in Australia $9.7m (7m) million and $9.1m (6.3m) in Italy.

Pearl Harbor is Disney's third most successful live-action movie to date.

In first place is Armageddon, which made $554m (384m) worldwide. The Sixth Sense is second with $530m (367m).

But the amount for The Sixth Sense does not include takings abroad where the rights were held by the finance company Spyglass.

And so far, it has been a bumper year for Hollywood. Box office receipts in the US were estimated at $2.95bn (2bn) - up 11% on last year's takings and 6% ahead of the previous record set in 1999.

Higher ticket prices rather than increased sales have been cited as part of the reason for the rise.

But higher admissions to summer films, including Pearl Harbor, also contributed to the buoyancy.

See also:

02 Jul 01 | Film
AI tops US box office
25 May 01 | Reviews
Pearl Harbor sinks fast
21 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
Pearl Harbor protests fall flat
29 Jun 01 | Oscars 2002
Shrek: An unlikely hero
22 May 01 | Film
Pearl Harbor: Reliving history
04 Jun 01 | Reviews
Pearl Harbor: Your views
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