Any truth to this Austin Powers trivia question?

I was watching the cheezy movie trivia slides while waiting for my husband to finish up his projection work, and one of them stated that the Austin Powers sequel (Spy who Shagged Me) made more money in its opening weekend than the first Austin Powers did in its entire run. I’m really not buying it, as I was still working in the business when the first came out and it was out and popular for quite a long time. Anyone know where I can find the info?

According to The Movie Times, The Spy Who Shagged Me pulled down $54.918 million in its opening weekend. Looking at the Movies of 1997 list, I see that International Man Of Mystery raked in a grand total of $53.868 million over its entire theatrical run. So, it’s true, but not by much.

I ran a movie theater when the first AP came out and it definitely had to qualify as a marginal/cult item upon first release, but little more. A lot of people didn’t seem to get it and though the film had some legs in metropolitan markets (like mine), it really earned its following when it was released on video.

Bear in mind, the original “Austin Powers” was a solid success, but NOT a huge hit at the box office. It became a phenomenon only after it was released on video.

Wow, that’s hard to believe. Very interesting though! Thanks for the links. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a sequel making that much more money than the original – especially when they’re essentially the same, heh. I’m sure it must happen all the time though.

No problem. I find the Movie Times site very handy for box office figures, and you can find some interesting stuff on there. For example, you can read that Freddy Got Fingered lost at least 60% of its audience each and every successive week following its premiere.

You can also sort by best and worst gross. Last year’s chart tells us that, of movies released on at least 700 screens, the top grosser was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, beating Fellowship of the Ring by about $16 million, while the lowest-grossing major release was Pootie Tang with a miserable $3.2 million total, followed by Left Behind and Glitter, the shameless Mariah Carey vehicle that convinced her label to pay her to go away. Over 1,200 screens and only $4.2 million, sad sad sad.