'Austin' Has The Force
“Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” opened with a groovy $54.7 million in ticket sales to blast “Star Wars, Episode I — The Phantom Menace” out of the top box-office spot, according to industry estimates. On a huge weekend for North American theaters, the “Star Wars” prequel kept packing in audiences, bringing in $25.4 million Friday through Sunday (to bring the George Lucas film near the $300 million mark after just four weeks). As for “Austin,” the new sequel to the 1997 spy spoof far exceeded industry expectations, collecting more in its first three days than the original made in its entire theatrical run.
- “Shagged Me” was the top-opening comedy of all time (beating last year’s “The Waterboy,” which debuted with $39.4 million), the top June opener (beating “Batman Forever” with $52.7 million in 1995) and the No. 2 non-holiday weekend opener (behind only “The Phantom Menace,” with $64.8 million last month). Elsewhere at the movies: “Notting Hill” collected $11.2 million for third place; “Instinct,” $6.8 million for fourth; and “The Mummy,” $5.1 million for fifth.