LOS ANGELES -- ''Gladiator,'' a bloody tale of betrayal and revenge in the Roman arena, entertained battle-hungry masses with an opening weekend of $34.8 million in North American movie theaters.
The new DreamWorks and Universal film starring Russell Crowe bumped ''U-571'' from atop the box office after two weeks. The World War II submarine drama fell to second at $7.8 million.
''Gladiator'' had the biggest opening weekend for DreamWorks, formed six years ago, exceeding the $30.1 million for ''Saving Private Ryan'' in July 1998.
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