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Monday, 29 November, 1999, 11:13 GMT
Woody and Buzz outgun Arnie
Toy Story 2 Toy Story 2: Disney's animated sequel is a runaway success

Disney animation Toy Story 2 has stormed to the top of the US movie chart - smashing box office records and delivering a severe body blow to Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest film.

The computer-generated sequel to the 1995 hit Toy Story won the lion's share of cinema audiences during the lucrative Thanksgiving weekend.

arnie Schwarzenegger: Back, but not on top
In his first leading role since 1996's Eraser, Arnie's End of Days could only manage third place in the box office standings - behind Bond film The World is Not Enough.

The action film, which sees 52-year-old Schwarzenegger play an ex-cop battling the devil, could not compete with the wholesome appeal of Toy Story 2.

Cinemagoers of all ages flocked to see the state-of-the-art feature on its first weekend of general release, after it received almost universal rave reviews.

Twice as nice

With Tom Hanks and Tim Allen again providing the voices of pint-sized heroes Woody the cowboy and astronaut Buzz Lightyear, some are saying the film is even better than the original.

Buzz Lightyear Buzz Lightyear wins universal praise
Since opening across the country on Wednesday - the day before Americans celebrated Thanksgiving - the movie has taken $80.8m (50.4m).

Over the actual holiday weekend, cinemagoers parted with a record $57.7m (36m) to see the film, which sees the toys struggling to save Woody from ending up in a Japanese museum.

The film has scored the third highest five-day gross ever - behind the summer blockbusters Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace ($105m or 65.5m) and Independence Day ($85m or 53m).

No turkey for Disney

It has also smashed previous Thanksgiving records for five-day and weekend takings, held by Disney's A Bug's Life ($45.7m or 28.5m) and The Lion King ($40.9m or 25.5m) respectively.

Robert Buckbaum of Reel Source Inc, who monitor box office trends, reckons the film's impressive performance has not only stunned its rivals.

Bug's Life A Bug's Life was Disney's last Thanksgiving hit
"Even Disney probably didn't expect numbers like this." he said.

The relative failure of End of Days to take even $20m over the three-day weekend - less than half Toy Story 2's takings - is another blow to Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie career.

The hulking star - who reigned supreme in the 1980s with hits such as The Terminator, Predator and Twins - has had difficulty recapturing that magic in the last decade.

Hits such as Terminator 2 and True Lies have been interspersed by the poorly-received Jingle All the Way, Eraser and Last Action Hero.

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See also:
18 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
Woody and Buzz are back
15 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Pokemon zaps US cinemas
15 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
Bosses bank on Hanks

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