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Monday, June 21, 1999 Published at 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK


Tarzan swings into the top

Tarzan marks a return to form for Disney

Disney's new Tarzan film swung straight into number one at the US box office this weekend, knocking the new Austin Powers movie off the top spot.

Tarzan took an estimated $34.1m in ticket sales, making it the best opening weekend for a Disney animated film since The Lion King, which took $41m on its first three days in 1994.

[ image: Minnie Driver gives the film a British twist]
Minnie Driver gives the film a British twist
Featuring the voices of Minnie Driver, Rosie O'Donnell and Tony Goldwyn, Tarzan is the first animated film of the classic tale about a boy raised in the jungle by apes.

Critics have been raving about this modern man of the apes who "surfs" through the treetops to a Phil Collins soundtrack, outwitting the evil Clayton and saving his strong-willed heroine, Jane.

The week's other box office swinger, Austin Powers, remained strong at number two with The Spy Who Shagged Me, raking in $31.9m. It has now grossed $116.7m since it opened two weeks ago, according to estimates.

Third position was taken by The General's Daughter, starring John Travolta, a new entry which took a respectable $22.3 million box office haul.

Studio executives said it was the first time they could recall that three films had grossed more than $20m on the same weekend.

Takings for the top ten films totalled $123m, up 21% on figures from the same weekend last year.

"This says that when people make good movies, no matter how many, there's room in the marketplace," said Disney distribution head Chuck Viane.

"The marketplace will expand to meet as much demand as it needs to."

Tarzan is due to open in the UK on 22 October.

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