By Michael Slezak
Updated June 30, 2005 at 12:00 PM EDT

Duff, schmuff. Lohan, schmohan. This summer’s under-21 box office queen is Dakota Fanning. Her new flick, War of the Worlds, raked in $21.8 million in its opening day yesterday (June 29); by comparison, Batman Begins‘ Wednesday opening drew $15.1 million back on June 15. Sure, you could say a couple people bought tickets for WOTW because it’s directed by Steven Spielberg, and a few others because of Fanning’s, um, intense costar, but the kid’s got a solid track record of her own.

Anyway, the movie’s first-day total raises a couple questions: Could an actor’s status as a Hollywood cash cow and a tabloid regular be, on occasion, mutually exclusive? And does Russell Crowe need to take some pointers from an 11-year-old girl?

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