August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Thrills and chills ruled the weekend’s box office, where total grosses were up 23 percent over the same period last year and Steven Spielberg got more good news. Not only did his Saving Private Ryan become the eighth film this summer to pass the $100 million mark (and the second DreamWorks production to reach that milestone), it could very well unseat Armageddon as the summer’s highest-grossing movie. As for last week’s two big debuts: Even though Snake Eyes narrowly squeaked by Halloween: H20, the Jamie Lee Curtis scream-athon will likely emerge the bigger winner in the long run — Brian De Palma’s assassination thriller was budgeted at $69 million, while H20 reportedly cost just $17 million. With its $16.2 million weekend haul, the seventh installment in the holiday horror franchise raked in more than the openings of the last two in the series combined. Pretty scary.

NO. OF WEEKEND WEEKS GROSS WEEKEND SITES PER-SITE IN TO TOP 20 GROSS* [**] AVERAGE RELEASE DATE

1 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN DreamWorks 17.4 2,592 $6,712 3 $103.8 2 SNAKE EYES Paramount 16.3 2,713 $6,012 1 $16.3 3 HALLOWEEN: H20 Dimension 16.2 2,607 $6,209 1 $24.8 4 THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY 20th Century Fox $9.6 2,109 $4,564 4 $76.6 5 THE PARENT TRAP Walt Disney $8.1 2,402 $3,383 2 $32.4 6 EVER AFTER 20th Century Fox $7.7 2,067 $3,723 2 $22.5 7 THE NEGOTIATOR Warner Bros. $6.5 2,436 $2,670 2 $25.0 8 THE MASK OF ZORRO TriStar $5.5 2,436 $2,261 4 $71.6 9 ARMAGEDDON Touchstone $5.3 2,123 $2,505 6 $172.8 10 LETHAL WEAPON 4 Warner Bros. $4.7 2,329 $2,035 5 $116.2 11 DR. DOLITTLE 20th Century Fox $3.1 1,821 $1,677 7 $131.6 12 SMALL SOLDIERS DreamWorks $1.6 1,249 $1,242 5 $49.4 13 MAFIA! Touchstone $1.4 1,374 $1,012 3 $17.2 14 MULAN Walt Disney $1.0 915 $1,137 8 $113.6 15 BASEKETBALL Universal $1.0 1,910 $535 2 $5.7 16 EVEREST IMAX $1.0 63 $15,325 23 $34.1 17 TITANIC Paramount $1.0 681 $1,417 34 $597.3 18 DISTURBING BEHAVIOR MGM/UA $0.9 1,217 $717 3 $15.7 19 MADELINE TriStar $0.7 800 $847 5 $26.1 20 DEEP IMPACT Paramount $0.6 634 $920 14 $138.9

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