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Monday, 14 February, 2000, 14:36 GMT
Buzz beats The Beach

Toy Story 2 Toy Story 2: To infinity - and beyond The Beach

A record-breaking weekend at the UK box office has seen Leonardo DiCaprio's much-hyped film The Beach beaten by animated blockbuster Toy Story 2.

The second instalment of the cartoon hit took well over half of the record 14.2m taken by UK cinemas over the weekend.

Woody Woody is kidnapped by an obsessed toy collector in Toy Story 2
Between Friday and Sunday it took twice as much as its predecessor, Toy Story, raking in 7.8m - compared to the 7.5m which Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace took over the same period when it opened in the UK.

The Beach took 2.3m - despite a blaze of publicity surrounding DiCaprio's appearance at the European premiere in London last week.

Across the Atlantic, US filmgoers celebrated Valentine's weekend in ghoulish fashion - as horror sequel Scream 3 also beat The Beach at the box office.

Neve Campbell Neve Campbell: Scream 3 is set to be the last in the series
The third instalment of the Scream series, starring Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette, took $16.4m (10.3m) across North America, to spend its second week at number one.

It is set to be the last of the series of films which has built up a worldwide following, and opens in the UK on 28 April.

The Beach came in second place, taking $15m ($9.4m).

Critically savaged

The film - about an American backpacker's doomed search for paradise in Thailand - has had mixed reviews in the UK, but took a battering at the hands of US critics.

Leading film writer Roger Ebert described it as "seriously confused" in the Chicago Sun-Times, and Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times calls it "tedious and unsatisfying".

Danny Boyle Danny Boyle: Beach in "good condition"
Although the film has generally been seen as a vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, its rating in the US has also cut off many of the 25-year-old heart-throb's fans - it is rated "R", barring under-17s from seeing it without an adult. In the UK it carries a 15 rating.

But its distributor, 20th Century Fox, is not concerned. Head of distribution Tom Sherak said: "We're all so wound up with what's number one and two.

"The fact is there's a lot of movies that have done really well that didn't open as number one, such as There's Something About Mary."

Gesture to Thais

Meanwhile in Thailand, a newspaper reports Fox is trying to defuse the row over alleged damage to the beach where the movie was made, Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le island.

The Nation said Fox would donate money from The Beach's Thai premiere next month to the country's national parks.

The film's British director, Danny Boyle, told reporters at the Berlin Film Festival: "We went back to the beach three weeks ago and now it's in good condition.

"The Thai government returned the $110,000 damage deposit and I hope this is the end of it."

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See also:
05 Feb 00 |  Tom Brook
Hollywood carries on screaming
10 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Film review: The Beach
10 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Fears for DiCaprio's Beach
09 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
DiCaprio beached in London
11 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Toy Story star dies

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