Phantom Menace Rises In Record Books
Few people had high expectations for the 3D re-release of Star Wars Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace . Even when it was originally released, the first of the Star Wars prequels took a drubbing from critics and fanboys alike. Nevertheless, the 3D version opened over the weekend with a solid $22.5 million -- enough to move it up to No. 5 among the all-time box office champs with $453.6 million. Indeed, it is virtually certain to pass the original Star Wars , which stands at No. 4 on the all-time list with $461 million, by the end of the week. The films that beat it at this weekend's box office don't stand a prayer of coming close to such figures, but their debuts were impressive nonetheless. The Vow, as expected, wound up in the No. 1 spot but with an unexpected $41.2 million. Box office forecasters had figured it would earn half that amount. Also performing well above expectations were the No. 2 and 3 films, Safe House with $40.2 million and Journey 2 The Mysterious Island with $27.3 million. They, too, doubled forecasters' predictions.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. The Vow , Sony, $41,202,458, (New); 2. Safe House , Universal, $40,172,720, (New); 3. Journey 2 The Mysterious Island, Warner Bros., $27,335,363, (New); 4. Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Lucasfilm Ltd./Fox, $22,469,932, (New); 5. Chronicle, 20th Century Fox, $12,092,589, 2 Wks. ($39,959,856); 6. The Woman in Black , CBS Films, $10,102,658, 2 Wks. ($35,258,145); 7. The Grey , Open Road, $5,045,620, 3 Wks. ($42,787,884); 8. Big Miracle, Universal, $3,946,050, 2 Wks. ($13,281,985); 9. The Descendants, Fox Searchlight, $3,441,676, 12 Wks. ($70,671,289); 10. Underworld Awakening , Sony, $2,480,156, 4 Wks. ($58,914,525).