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'Spice Girls' Opens Strong but Can't Slow 'Titanic'

January 26, 1998|From Associated Press

"Titanic" hit the ranks of all-time top-grossing films and the Spice Girls' first movie opened at No. 2 during the usually slow Super Bowl weekend, according to industry estimates Sunday.

Director-writer James Cameron's epic, boosted by its four Golden Globe awards, had about $25 million in ticket sales to hold the top spot for a sixth week. It now has grossed $274.3 million to place No. 10 on the list of all-time top-grossing domestic releases, according to Exhibitor Relations Co.

The movie, a joint presentation of Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, bumped 1975's "Jaws," which grossed $260 million at the North American box office.

Sony/Columbia's "Spice World," starring the internationally popular singing group, grossed an unexpectedly high $11 million. The movie has a built-in Spice Girls fan base, and it also appeals to a young audience that was less likely to be glued to the tube for the Super Bowl, industry analysts said.

The only other new film in wide release was "Phantoms." The thriller from Dimension Films had a weak opening gross of $3.1 million to tie for eighth place.

New Line Cinema's "Wag the Dog," a satire about a presidential sex scandal, didn't seem to benefit from its real-life counterpart--allegations that President Clinton had an affair with a former White House intern. Ticket sales rose about 5% in the Washington, D.C., area compared to the previous week, said Al Shapiro, New Line's president of domestic distribution. But overall, the film placed sixth with $4.7 million, a drop of 27% from the previous week.

Other movies in the Top 10 were Miramax Films' "Good Will Hunting," third, with $9.1 million; Sony/TriStar's "As Good as It Gets," $7.6 million; Warner Bros.' "Fallen," $4.9 million; Paramount's "Hard Rain," $3.7 million; Universal's "Half Baked," $3.1 million; and United Artists' "Tomorrow Never Dies," $2.7 million. Steven Spielberg's "Amistad," from DreamWorks Pictures, dropped off the list in its seventh week; it was No. 12 with $1.8 million.

All weekend results are estimates. Final figures are to be released Tuesday.

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