06/05/2006 AT 8:50 AM ET
Forget Gigli. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn’s offscreen romance – and their movie’s bad reviews – didn’t stop audiences from making The Break-Up a hit.
The movie racked up an estimated $38.1 million in ticket sales this weekend, beating last week’s blockbuster X-Men: The Last Stand ($34.4 million). It also had the third best opening ever for a comedy, topped only by last year’s Hitch ($43.1 million) and 2004’s 50 First Dates ($40 million).
Although high-profile hookups don’t guarantee box-office success, Aniston and Vaughn – unlike Gigli’s Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck – have been low-key about their relationship.
When the movie premiered in Los Angeles on May 22, Aniston walked the red carpet a good five minutes before Vaughn, and the pair never got within 25 feet of each other.
And a week later, when they moved on to Vaughn’s hometown of Chicago for the premiere there, the two even stayed in separate hotels – leading some to suspect a real-life break-up. But after the movie’s fete, the pair hit hot spot Cabaret together for ’80s tunes and take-out pizza, PEOPLE reports in its current issue.
Even more telling? On May 30 the two spent an hour inside Chicago’s Palmolive Building, where they are rumored to be buying the penthouse condo. (Reps had no comment.)
They also cuddled at a Cubs game – where Vaughn led all of Wrigley Field in a sing-along of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Another factor contributing to the success of The Break-Up may be its title: Aniston filmed the movie just after her 2005 split from husband Brad Pitt, who last week welcomed a new baby with Angelina Jolie.
Aniston said at a press junket for the film that when she initially received the script, “At first, I was, ‘Hmmm.’ I thought my agent was kidding. Mean joke. But it was like, wow, there is a reason this is coming to me right now. But it will have to be done in a way that is as truthful as we can be to tell the right story.”