"Phantom Menace" racks up $1.1 million in midnight shows

Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:56pm EST

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LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Not even Jar Jar Binks could keep "Star Wars" fans from the 3D re-release of "The Phantom Menace."

The "force" was still with George Lucas, as the first part in the six-episode fantasy series racked up $1.1 million in midnight showings on Friday.

The film, considered the weakest by fans of the franchise, is nevertheless on track to have a strong weekend. It debuted in 1,300 screens in its late night showings and will expand to 2,655 locations.

"The Phantom Menace" will likely fall short of the more than $30 million generated by the 3D re-release of "The Lion King" last fall, but it should gross north of $20 million over the weekend.

Also showing some muscle, and appealing to slightly different chromosomes, was "The Vow." The romantic drama grossed $700,000 in midnight shows.

Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, the Sony film should generate over $30 million this weekend.

Not to be outdone, Denzel Washington's latest thriller "Safe House" debuted at midnight to a solid $543,000 at 1,034 locations. It too should find itself north of the $20 million mark when the weekend ends.

A few more weekends like this and last winter's horrific box office slump will seem like it took place in a galaxy far, far away.

(Editing By Zorianna Kit)

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