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Memorial Day parades record weekend grosses

Memorial Day turned out to be memorable indeed for studio distribs, as Monday grosses put the four-day holiday frame into the record books as the biggest box office weekend in history.

Official totals now show grosses amounting to a record of at least $186.6 million industrywide. That exceeds by almost $2 million the previous record of $184.8 million, set last year over the Memorial Day weekend when “Mission: Impossible 2” opened at $70.8 million.

Earlier estimates had the weekend B.O. falling just short of equaling last year’s record total. But EDI veep Dan Marks said inclement weather helped make the holiday an especially strong one for moviegoing this year.

“The day just came in a bit stronger than anticipated,” Marks said.

Better than expected

Top weekend performers “Pearl Harbor” and “Shrek” also ended up outpacing their original estimates.

Disney’s “Harbor,” which was estimated Monday to be cruising to a four-day total of $75.1 million, actually delivered some $75.2 million in weekend B.O. DreamWorks’ animated laffer “Shrek,” which finished No. 2 to the Mouse House’s wartime live-actioner, bettered its $54.2 million estimate with a $55.2 million official tally.

As for the rest of the frame’s top five finishers, officials tallies were just under earlier estimates. Universal’s “The Mummy Returns” unwrapped $19 million, less than $100,000 under the earlier estimate; Sony’s “A Knight’s Tale” lanced $9.1 million, roughly $200,000 under its projected total; and Warner Bros./Franchise Pictures’ “Angel Eyes” saw some $6.2 million, about $100,000 under the earlier estimate.

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