Weekend Box Office
by Brandon Gray
June 2, 1999
The Phantom Menace ended the Memorial Day weekend with $66.9 million, $2.1 million more than what Fox estimated. This was the second weekend in a row that Fox underestimated. Fox has also been underestimating Entrapment lately. Nice to see a studio break from the norm in this regard.
Phantom Menace added two new records to its trophy case: fastest to $200 million (13 days) and highest grossing second weekend ($51.4 million). On Friday, it surpassed The Matrix to become the #1 picture of the year, a title which it will no doubt keep.
Comparing its three-day weekends, it was down only 21%. A 21% drop is considered a strong hold for normal movies. For a movie performing at these levels, it's downright phenomenal.
One more thing to note, with Fox and Lucas having a 70% cut, this picture entered profit this past weekend from its domestic theatrical release alone. That's probably the most amazing feat it has accomplished thus far. Very rarely does a picture ever do that.
Notting Hill featured Julia's trademark smile and Hugh's trademark squirm and walked away with $27.7 million over the long weekend. The media has been gushing that it was the biggest opening for a romantic comedy ever. Well, yes, it is, but barely. It made $21.8 million over the three days, narrowly beating previous record holder My Best Friend's Wedding by $132,803. However, Hill did play at 613 more theaters, and taking into account the slight inflation in the past two years, it sold fewer tickets.
The Thirteenth Floor, the latest from the guy responsible for such atrocities as Independence Day and Godzilla, über hack Roland Emmerich, tanked. It took in only $4.3 million over the long weekend. Obviously, The Phantom Menace's dominance and similarities to The Matrix are what killed it. Not to mention, that it looked like crap.
Editor's Note: Articles published before 2001 were assigned and reported as box office briefings, not a full evaluation or analysis.