In second, with $39.3 million, according to yesterday's studio estimates, was the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds' action thriller "Safe House."
At No. 3 was Dwayne Johnson's family action sequel "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," with $27.6 million.
And adding to George Lucas' riches was the 3-D premiere of "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," which was No. 4 with $23 million. That raises the lifetime domestic total for "Phantom Menace" to $454.1 million.
As the kickoff to Grammys weekend, Paul McCartney
was honored Friday night as the MusiCares Person of the Year.
The dinner menu even reflected his vegetarian lifestyle, from the tomato and fresh mozzarella tower to the main course of grilled seitan and roasted vegetables in puff pastry. Seitan is a wheat gluten used as a meat substitute.
Nearby burger joints did bang-up business after.
The former Beatle singled out Neil Young's rowdy version of "I Saw Her Standing There" and "all the others putting nuances on the songs I didn't know were there." He was on his feet leading the applause after Foo Fighters tore through the Wings hit "Jet."
At the end of the evening, McCartney turned the vast Los Angeles Convention Center into an intimate jazz club with "My Valentine," a song he wrote for new wife, Nancy Shevell, and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," two cuts off his latest album, "Kisses On the Bottom." He was accompanied by Diana Krall on the piano.
He whipped off his jacket and raced to the piano for the Wings song "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five." He strapped on the bass for a closing medley of "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End," with Dave Grohl, of Foo Fighters, and former Eagle Joe Walsh backing him.
Other performances included Coldplay ("We Can Work it Out"), Alicia Keys ("Blackbird"), Katy Perry ("Hey Jude"), Tony Bennett ("Here, There and Everywhere"), Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas ("No More Lonely Nights") and Norah Jones ("Oh! Darling").
When does the album come out?
The event raised a record $6.5 million for MusiCares, which provides financial assistance to individuals in the music industry during times of need.
* "The Artist" won seven prizes, including best picture, last night at the British Academy Film Awards.
Jean Dujardin won best actor; Meryl Streep best actress, and the supporting actor and actress prizes went to Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer.
* Kid Rock - incensed over a Detroit Free Press column questioning where the musician's "Made in Detroit" line of T-shirts actually are made - lashed out at the writer in an expletive-laced letter on the company's website.
Meanwhile, the company acknowledged that not all the shirts are made in the U.S.
* PETA is furious, but HBO is defending its treatment of horses used in the race-track drama, "Luck," after two of the animals died during production.
"Luck" is the one production where you don't want to tell the stars to "break a leg."
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.