Originally created 01/19/98

`Titanic' continues to dominate the box office



LOS ANGELES -- "Titanic" was at the head of Hollywood's regatta for a fifth week with a $29.5 million in ticket sales, industry sources estimated Sunday.

The movie earned two percent more than the previous week and well over the $28.6 million that it grossed during its debut weekend.

"It's enormous. It's fantastic. It's a phenomenon," said Rob Friedman, vice chairman of Paramount's Motion Picture Group. "It's doing better than everyone thought it would. It's in the outer reaches where it's beyond predictability."

The sinking ship epic already has made up its $200 million budget despite a running time of more than three hours that limits screenings. So far, it has grossed an estimated $235.8 million at the North American box office.

In second place with $11 million was "Good Will Hunting," a drama featuring Matt Damon as a soul-searching young genius and Robin Williams as his therapist.

Three new films made the list.

"Fallen," starring Denzel Washington as a cop tracking a demon who transfers from person to person by touch, debuted in third place with $9.2 million, pushing out the Jack Nicholson comedy "As Good as it Gets," which was fourth with $8.3 million.

"Hard Rain," a flood thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater, was fifth with $7.2 million. The 1970s-style comedy "Half-Baked," starring Jim Breuer of TV's "Saturday Night Live," earned $6.8 million for sixth place.

"Wag the Dog" followed with $6.2 million.

"Tomorrow Never Dies" was No. 8, adding another $5.5 million to its overall gross of $111 million. The movie, starring Pierce Brosnan, now is the most successful of the James Bond films in the North American market. The previous North American record was set by 1995's "GoldenEye," also starring Brosnan, which brought in $106.1 million.

"It took `GoldenEye' 16 weeks to reach that," said Larry Gleason, MGM's distribution president. "We broke the record ... in five weeks."

The movie has benefited from a $100 million promotional campaign conducted by BMW and other partners.

Final box office figures were to be released Monday.

Here are estimated grosses for the top 10 movies at North American theaters for Friday through Sunday:

1. "Titanic," $29.5 million.

2. "Good Will Hunting," $11 million.

3. "Fallen," $9.2 million.

4. "As Good As It Gets," $8.3 million.

5. "Hard Rain," $7.2 million

6. "Half-Baked," $6.8 million.

7. "Wag the Dog," $6.2 million.

8. "Tomorrow Never Dies," $5.5 million.

9. "MouseHunt," $4.3 million.

10. "Amistad," $2.7 million.