"The Mummy Returns" kicked the summer season off with a vengeance. According to box office reports the sequel to "The Mummy" raked in $70.1 million from Friday through Sunday, setting a new record for a non-holiday weekend. The film beat the $64.8 million brought in by "The Phantom Menace" during its first weekend of release in 1999. It also eclipsedreally eclipsedthe $43.4 million grossed by the first "Mummy" film, which was also released in '99.
The new record is notable because it occurred during a regular weekend. Technically, the all-time premiere champ is still "The Lost World," which earned $72.1 million during the long Memorial Day weekend in 1997.
While a $70 million take is impressive, it's almost assured to be broken in 2002. "Spider-Man," "Star Wars Episode II," and "Men in Black 2" are scheduled to premiere next summer. If one of those three can't crack $70 million, there's a damn good chance the Christmas release of "The Matrix 2" will get the job done.