'Hulk' transforms into cash cow

Monday, June 23, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- "The Hulk" was a monster at the box office in its debut weekend, taking in a June opening record of $62.6 million.

The action flick about a scientist turned into a raging green beast by a lab accident took over the top box-office spot from the animated fish tale "Finding Nemo," which slipped to second place with a weekend take of $20.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"The Hulk" had the highest gross ever for a June opening, surpassing the previous record of $54.9 million for "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me." But taking today's higher admission prices into account, "Austin Powers" sold slightly more tickets in its opening weekend than "The Hulk."

Despite the June record, revenue for "The Hulk" came in well below that of last month's Marvel Comics adaptation, "X2: X-Men United," which grossed $85.6 million in its opening weekend.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released today.

1. "The Hulk," $62.6 million.

2. "Finding Nemo," $20.5 million.

3. "2 Fast 2 Furious," $10.3 million.

4. "Bruce Almighty," $10 million.

5. "The Italian Job," $7.2 million.

6. "Rugrats Go Wild," $6.7 million.

7. "Alex & Emma," $6.2 million.

8. "Hollywood Homicide," $5.8 million.

9. "Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd," $4.3 million.

10. "The Matrix Reloaded," $4.05 million.

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