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PHANTOM MENACE sets boxoffice record

LucasFilm and 20th Century Foxs visual effects-driven STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE took in $61.8 million gross over the three-day weekend. Its five-day total of $102.7 million since its Wednesday debut broke the previous five-day record of $92.7 million set in 1997 by THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, but its three-day weekend gross failed to challenge the $72.1 million record still held by THE LOST WORLD. Despite breaking records, the gross failed to reach the levels that many predicted, and some speculate that many were scared away by the Star Wars fever as reported by the media. Many expect that those who were scared away by opening week crowds will emerge shortly, and that the film will eventually gross in excess of $400 million in North America alone. The record for North American gross is $600.7 million, set by TITANIC.

Two other CGI-laced action films finished in the top ten. THE MUMMY finished in second place, after two weeks at No. 1, taking in $13.1 million gross, for a total of $99.5 million. THE MATRIX finished fourth, taking in $2.7 million to bring its total to $149.3 million.