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Tuesday, July 6, 1999 Published at 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK


Entertainment

Will's Wild winner

Will Smith with wife Jada Pinkett and family at the film's premiere

Men In Black star Will Smith topped the US box office over the Independence Day weekend with his cowboy movie Wild Wild West.

The film, which opened on Wednesday, took $36.8m from Friday to Monday, according to box office estimates.

It is based on a popular fantasy-western TV series from the 1960s.

Set in 1869, Smith plays a federal agent who stops the attempts of an evil madman - played by Kenneth Branagh - to assassinate the president and return the US to its former colonial owners.

Critics have panned the film, but Warner Bros are confident it will hit its target of taking $50m after six days on release.

Meanwhile, in the UK, his single from the film debuted at number two in the charts, failing to topple ATB's dance anthem 9PM (Till I Come) from the number one position.

Wild Wild West's success has dented the takings of rising star Adam Sandler's latest film, Big Daddy.

South Park ID troubles


[ image: South Park: Bigger, longer, and at number four]
South Park: Bigger, longer, and at number four
The film took $26.4m, having been pushed into second place. In the comedy, Sandler plays an irresponsible man who adopts a young child to try and please his girlfriend.

Disney animation Tarzan was third, taking $19.2m, while the South Park cartoon spin-off, Bigger, Longer and Uncut took $14.8m - despite facing a different kind of hazard at the box office.

Since the Columbine school shootings, cinemas have had to check movie-goers' identification before they can get into R-rated movies, which requires viewers to be at least 17.

The film had to be edited several times to receive an R-rating, rather than an NC-17 rating which prohibits anyone from under 17 from seeing the film - a classification often seen as the kiss of death for a film.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, is sixth with $11.7m, six weeks after its release. It beat Spike Lee's new movie, Summer Of Sam, which came in eight with $7.8m.

Two British movies are in the top 10 - Notting Hill's success continues at number nine with $5.1m, while An Ideal Husband - starring Rupert Everett, Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver - came in tenth with $3.4m.

The figures, from Exhibitor Relations Inc., will be finalised on Tuesday.

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut will open in the UK on 23 July, with Wild Wild West following on 13 August. Big Daddy's British release will be in October.



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