They were just at another theater. Reports of the sluggishness of "Episode I" seem to have been greatly exaggerated; the Lucasian toyfest collected another $64.8 million over the three-day weekend, putting its total gross at $205 million after just 13 days (that's another record -- "Independence Day" took three weeks to hit that mark in 1996). Certainly, a heartening second weekend for Fox execs burdened by stratospheric hype expectations. But Universal, without a proven property like "Phantom," gets the calendar award. "The Mummy" has already scored a quick $117 million (including a decent $12.7 million this week) by sopping up the pre-"Phantom" sci-fi dollars -- now "Notting Hill" is scoring with, well, the folks planning on scoring afterward. Moral: There's plenty of fannies to go around.
There is life in the shadow of "Star Wars: Episode I." Lots of it. The everyman-meets-It Girl romantic comedy "Notting Hill," boasting good reviews, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant all in one, packed in the couples like never before, bringing in a romantic-comedy record $27.8 million over Memorial Day weekend. Besides proving that Hugh Grant may yet live up to his billing as a shaggy incarnation of Cary Grant, it also shows that teens haven't completely taken over the movie business yet.