'Hulk' overpowers 'Nemo'

— "The Hulk" was a monster at the box office in its debut weekend, with the comic-book adaptation 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 weekend's other new wide releases opened quietly. Rob Reiner's romantic comedy "Alex & Emma," starring Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson, debuted at No. 7 with $6.2 million. "From Justin to Kelly," a romance starring "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini, opened at No. 11 with only $2.9 million.

"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."

Distributor Universal Studios said the opening-weekend audience was evenly split between people under and over 25, as the movie drew the young action-flick crowd as well as adults who remember the comic book and "Incredible Hulk" TV series.

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.

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

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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