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.
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.