Weekend Box Office (January 14 - 17, 2005)

by Sujit Chawla

** 2004 Box Office Wrapup **

THIS WEEKEND In what has to be considered a little bit of an upset, the high school drama Coach Carter took the box office crown this weekend, while the favorite coming into the weekend, Elektra, took a disappointing fourth place. Kidpic Racing Stripes opened to decent numbers in third and Universal saw a successful wide release for In Good Company.

Samuel L. Jackson headlined Paramount's basketball flick Coach Carter. The PG-13 film opened to a strong $29.2M this weekend, according to final four-day studio figures, for a per screen average of $11,556. The opening of Coach Carter was stronger than director Thomas Carter's Save the Last Dance, which opened over the MLK holiday weekend back in 2001 to a four-day total of $27.5M, although Last Dance had a larger per screen average of $12,343. Last Dance went on to gross an impressive $91M.

Dropping one spot to second place was the monster known as Meet the Fockers. Dropping 21% from last weekend's three-day totals, the holiday behemoth brought in another $22.5M this weekend, according to estimates, bringing its cume to $234.3M. It now stands at number 41 on the all-time box office chart, just ahead of Cast Away's $233.6M, and just behind the $234.7M put up by 1984's Beverly Hills Cop.

Debuting this weekend and landing in third place was the talking animal film, Racing Stripes. Featuring the voices of Frankie Muniz, Dustin Hoffman and others, the PG-rated Stripes took in $18.9M this holiday weekend, for a per screen average of $5,922. Opening pictures aimed towards a child-sized audience during MLK weekend has been profitable over the last few years as 2003's Kangaroo Jack opened with $21.9M on its way to $66.9M and 2002's Snow Dogs opened with $23.7M on its way to $81.1M.

Universal went wide this weekend with In Good Company and the Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Scarlett Johannson comedy zoomed up to number four with a haul of $16.6M. Its per screen average of $10,625 was second highest in the top ten. Its total after three weeks now stands at $17.1M.

Landing with a thud at number five was Jennifer Garner's entry into superhero-land, Elektra. The film, which many figured would fly to number one this weekend, grossed $14.8M, for a per screen average of a less-than-stellar $4,617. While not expected to fly as high as Daredevil, which featured Garner's character, Elektra was anticipated to do much better than it did. Daredevil, which opened Valentine's Day weekend of 2003, opened with a bang with $40.3M on its way to a cume of $102.5M. Elektra's mild opening follows in the footsteps of another female-driven superhero film, Halle Berry's Catwoman, which opened this past summer to $16.7M on its way to a total of $40.2M.

Falling 43% from its surprisingly strong opening last weekend, was the Universal thriller, White Noise. The Michael Keaton-led film grossed $13.8M this weekend, for a per screen average of $6,060. Its total now stands at $42.9M. Look for the film to finish its run in the $65-70M range. In seventh place was Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture - Drama, The Aviator. Starring Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, the tale of the late Howard Hughes took in another $6.4M this weekend for a drop of 15% from last weekend's three-day numbers. Its cume now stands at $51.5M and should receive a bump from its Globe awards and expected Oscar nominations next week.

In eighth place was the Jim Carrey driven Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which unfortunately brought in $5.3M this weekend, down 28% from last weekend. Its total now stands at $112.4M. In ninth was The Phantom of the Opera. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the musical tale took in $4.6M, up 35% from last weekend, thanks to the addition of 285 screens. Its total now stands at $27.5M. And rounding out the top ten was everyone's favorite fat man, Fat Albert, which snuck by Ocean's Twelve with its Monday gross. Albert ate up $3.8M this weekend bringing its total cume to $45.6M.

Dropping out of the top ten, the boys of Ocean's Twelve stole another $3.5M this weekend bringing its total haul to $120.5M after six weeks of release. After six weeks of release back in 2001/2002, Ocean's Eleven had grossed $162.6M.

The top ten grossed $135.9M this weekend, up 27% from last year when Along Came Polly opened at number one with $32.4M in four days.

Compared to projections, Coach Carter opened stronger than Gitesh's $19M three-day weekend prediction, Elektra opened weaker than his $22M three-day estimate, while Racing Stripes was dead on with Gitesh's $14M three-day projection.

For a NEW review of Coach Carter, visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Assault on Precinct 13 and Are We There Yet? both open nationwide.

Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines

# Title Jan 14 - 17 Jan 7 - 9 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Coach Carter $ 29,168,180 2,524 1 $ 11,556 $ 29,168,180 Paramount
2 Meet the Fockers 22,514,650 28,498,160 -21.0 3,554 4 6,335 234,308,680 Universal
3 Racing Stripes 18,862,432 3,185 1 5,922 18,862,432 Warner Bros.
4 In Good Company 16,638,635 144,149 1,566 3 10,625 17,138,097 Universal
5 Elektra 14,792,335 3,203 1 4,618 14,792,335 Fox
6 White Noise 13,810,725 24,113,565 -42.7 2,279 2 6,060 42,852,325 Universal
7 The Aviator 6,350,078 7,492,647 -15.2 1,956 5 3,246 51,528,137 Miramax
8 Lemony Snicket's A Series... 5,343,415 7,438,867 -28.2 2,540 5 2,104 112,421,617 Paramount
9 The Phantom of the Opera 4,625,495 3,420,307 35.2 907 4 5,100 27,512,033 Warner Bros.
10 Fat Albert 3,805,037 5,748,443 -33.8 2,043 4 1,862 45,618,010 Fox
11 Ocean's Twelve 3,510,460 5,310,434 -33.9 2,105 6 1,668 120,460,509 Warner Bros.
12 National Treasure 3,295,622 4,250,658 -22.5 1,610 9 2,047 164,859,175 Buena Vista
13 Sideways 2,750,277 1,907,439 44.2 366 13 7,514 28,632,723 Fox Searchlight
14 Million Dollar Baby 2,285,069 1,920,418 19.0 122 5 18,730 6,156,069 Warner Bros.
15 House of Flying Daggers 2,262,667 552,031 309.9 1,189 7 1,903 7,497,183 Sony Classics
16 Finding Neverland 2,229,976 2,264,995 -1.5 1,000 10 2,230 30,919,023 Miramax
17 Spanglish 2,020,734 4,251,776 -52.5 1,662 5 1,216 40,812,880 Sony
18 Hotel Rwanda 1,812,384 1,171,250 54.7 192 4 9,440 3,941,913 MGM/UA
19 The Life Aquatic 1,612,119 2,744,639 -41.3 907 6 1,777 22,120,583 Buena Vista
20 The Incredibles 1,555,742 2,057,544 -24.4 1,002 11 1,553 256,739,602 Buena Vista
Top 5 $ 101,976,232 $ 73,291,682 39.1
Top 10 135,910,982 93,269,496 45.7
Top 20 159,246,032 111,582,592 42.7
Top 20 vs. 2004 159,246,032 129,618,221 22.9

Last Updated : January 18, 2005 at 10:00PM EST