'Perfect Storm' Breezes to No. 1

Wednesday, July 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ``The Perfect Storm'' crushed ``The Patriot,'' despite inspiration from the Independence Day holiday weekend, according to preliminary studio box office estimates.

The George Clooney movie, based on the true story of a fishing boat crushed by a tempest, took in $64 million from Friday through Tuesday, according to studio estimates.

``The Patriot,'' a Revolutionary War saga starring Mel Gibson, brought in $35.2 million for the same five days. ``Chicken Run'' retained its third-place standing for the longer-than-usual holiday weekend, taking in $21 million.

The figures are estimates based on reporting from the individual studios. Exhibitor Relations, Inc., which usually provides official numbers, was closed for the holiday.

The list of the top 10 movies remained the same from Sunday's tally, with ``The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle'' sitting in disappointing fifth-place with $11 million.

The Fourth of July weekend traditionally means blockbuster business for Hollywood. Unfortunately, the throngs of moviegoers didn't make ``Mission: Impossible 2'' the first $200 million movie of the year. The movie took in $7.7 million for the five days, pushing its cumulative take to $199.9 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Tuesday at North American theaters, according to studio estimates. Final figures are to be released Wednesday.

1. ``The Perfect Storm,'' Warner Bros. $64 million.

2. ``The Patriot,'' Sony Pictures, $35.2 million.

3. ``Chicken Run,'' DreamWorks, $21 million.

4. ``Me, Myself & Irene,'' Fox, $19.5 million.

5. ``The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,'' Universal, $11 million.

6. ``Shaft,'' Paramount, $9.7 million.

7. ``Big Momma's House,'' Fox $8.6 million.

8. ``Gone in 60 Seconds,'' Disney, $7.8 million.

9. ``Mission: Impossible 2,'' Paramount, $7.7 million.

10. ``Gladiator,'' DreamWorks, $3.7 million.