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UIP banks its fastest billion

World Brief

SYDNEY — United Intl. Pictures’ films topped $1 billion through July 23 — the fastest the company has reached the $1 billion threshold in its history.

UIP chairman/CEO Paul Oneile says the distrib’s B.O. score is running 37% ahead of the comparable period last year.

Oneile listed the year’s biggest earners as “The Mummy Returns” at $210 million; “Cast Away,” with $180 million; “Hannibal” with $115 million; and “Meet the Parents” and “Shrek,” both with $100 million.

Oneile is confident UIP will beat last calendar year’s $1.7 billion and believes it could match or exceed its 1996 record of $1.8 billion.

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