The shagadelic sequel outearns its original in only one weekend
Holy shag! In the battle of Mojo vs. Force, ”Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me” emerged the grooviest, knocking ”The Phantom Menace” out of the top spot by pulling in a cash-adelic $54.7 million, according to studio estimates. It seems like the snaggletoothed superspy only gets better with age: Not only did ”Shagged” improve on the original ”Austin Powers”’ performance, it did so in just one weekend — ”Powers” took in $53.9 million over its entire run. This whopping take gives ”Shagged” the third highest opening ever, behind ”The Lost World: Jurassic Park” ($72.5 million) and ”The Phantom Menace” ($64.8 million).
But just because ”Phantom Menace” is no longer on top doesn’t mean George Lucas’ lightsaber has gone flaccid. In its fourth weekend, ”Menace” took in $25.4 million, dropping only 23 percent. Its total now comes to $296.7 million, which already puts it as the ninth highest-grossing film of all time, leapfrogging over ”The Empire Strikes Back” ($290.3 million) and ”Home Alone” ($285.7 million). The rest of the Top 5 were ”Notting Hill” ($11.2 million), ”Instinct” ($6.8 million), and ”The Mummy” ($5.1 million).
”Austin Powers 2” scored with EW Online viewers, who gave it a B+ average in our Critical Mass Poll. Fifty-three percent of voters said it was better than they expected — whereas 43 percent of ”Phantom Menace” viewers said that film exceeded their expectations. However, only 49 percent said they were very likely to see ”Shagged” again, compared to 69 percent of ”Phantom” fans.
And looking at demographics, ”Austin”’s abundance of bathroom humor predictably gets funnier as its viewers get younger: Those over 40 gave it a B, while those from 29 to 40 gave it a B+, and the under-29 set awarded it an A-.