Weekend Box Office (January 17 - 20, 2003)
THIS WEEKEND The kids film Kangaroo Jack led the North American box office over the four-day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday frame while most holdovers remained healthy. Moviegoers spread their money around as five films grossed over $12M each over the Friday-to-Monday span despite facing small-screen competiton from the Golden Globe Awards and the NFL championship football games.
Superproducer Jerry Bruckheimer found himself in his usual number-one position this weekend with his family comedy Kangaroo Jack which debuted in the top spot with $21.9M over four days, according to final figures. Starring Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson, the Warner Bros. release hopped into 2,818 theaters and averaged a solid $7,770 per site. With no other major kidpics in the marketplace, and most children having no school for the long weekend, the PG-rated film faced virtually no competition. Kangaroo Jack saw sales that were almost identical to those of Disney's Snow Dogs which bowed this weekend a year ago to $23.7M, although it was from 500 fewer theaters. The future for the $60M Jack looks promising as no other family films are hitting theaters for nearly a month and audiences polled by CinemaScore.com gave the comedy an A- grade.
Martin Lawrence debuted in second with his latest action-comedy National Security which opened with $16.8M. The Sony release played in 2,729 locations and averaged an arresting $6,161 per venue. For Lawrence, the performance was slightly better than the openings for his last two feature films Black Knight ($11.1M) and What's the Worst That Could Happen? ($13M). Moviegoers were mostly pleased with National Security which earned a B+ grade from CinemaScore.com.
Last weekend's number one film, the honeymoon comedy Just Married, dipped to $13.8M and boosted its ten-day cume to $35.3M. Budgeted at $18M, the Fox release should make its way to about $70M giving the studio its second straight surprise hit after Drumline.
DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can followed grossing $12.5M. The DiCaprio-Hanks collaboration raised its total to $136.3M.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers followed in fifth with $12.5M as well pushing its cume to $300.1M. The Hobbit sequel now sits at number 14 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters, after 1996's Independence Day ($306.2M).
Miramax's musical extravaganza Chicago stayed put in sixth place but increased its weekend gross by 71% to $9.7M. The Renee Zellweger-Richard Gere pic added 195 playdates for a total of 557 and averaged a sizzling $17,494 per location giving it the best average in the top ten once again. Cume to date is $29.4M. Should Chicago score an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, it is likely to see its gross climb past the $100M mark. The Rob Marshall-directed film expands into national release on Friday.
MGM's new romantic comedy A Guy Thing opened in seventh place with $8M from 2,515 theaters for a disappointing $3,183 average. The Jason Lee film about a man who questions his upcoming wedding after a wild bachelor party did not do very well with audiences as those polled by CinemaScore.com gave it a B-.
The Jack Nicholson drama About Schmidt took eighth place with $6.8M for a total of $30.7M.
Paramount's The Hours made its top ten debut this weekend with a ninth-place showing grossing $5.7M from 402 sites. The Streep-Moore-Kidman triple threat averaged a solid $14,277 per theater and expanded from 45 venues. The Hours has taken in $8.4M to date but earned a discouraging B- grade from CinemaScore.com audiences.
Rounding out the top ten was Two Weeks Notice which fell 31% to $4.7M giving the Warner Bros. film $85.6M to date.
Four films fell from the top ten over the weekend. Miramax's big-budget epic Gangs of New York collected $4.6M and lifted its total to $61.4M. Look for the Martin Scorsese film to finish with over $75M. Sony's Maid in Manhattan dropped 28% to $3.7M and pushed its cume to $89M. The highest-grossing film of Jennifer Lopez's career should end its run with $95-100M.
Denzel Washington's Antwone Fisher slipped to $3.4M and brought its sum to $14.9M. A final gross of around $25M is likely. Kidpic The Wild Thornberrys has grossed $37.7M to date and should end with $40-42M.
The top ten films grossed $112.5M over four days which was down 8% from last year when Black Hawk Down opened nationally at number one with $33.6M; but up from 2001's non-holiday frame when Save the Last Dance remained on top with $15.4M.
Compared to projections, Kangaroo Jack opened a few notches higher than my $14M three-day forecast while National Security debuted on target with my $15M prediction. A Guy Thing and The Hours both debuted close to my projections of $5M and $4M, respectively.
Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on Chicago. In last week's survey, readers were asked if they thought Catch Me If You Can would eventually reach $175M domestically. Of 1,480 responses, 61% said Yes while 39% thought No.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Darkness Falls opens and Chicago goes wide.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Jan 17 - 20||Jan 10 - 12||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Kangaroo Jack||$ 21,895,483||2,818||1||$ 7,770||$ 21,895,483||Warner Bros.|
|4||Catch Me If You Can||12,524,998||14,630,444||-14.4||3,050||4||4,107||136,318,125||DreamWorks|
|5||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||12,503,990||14,755,306||-15.3||3,110||5||4,021||300,122,052||New Line|
|7||A Guy Thing||8,006,232||2,515||1||3,183||8,006,232||MGM|
|8||About Schmidt||6,822,657||6,403,691||6.5||946||6||7,212||30,689,435||New Line|
|10||Two Weeks Notice||4,716,308||6,833,423||-31.0||2,240||5||2,105||85,611,004||Warner Bros.|
|11||Gangs of New York||4,625,550||4,829,938||-4.2||2,170||5||2,132||61,399,206||Miramax|
|12||Maid in Manhattan||3,715,850||5,144,633||-27.8||2,171||6||1,712||88,971,392||Sony|
|13||Antwone Fisher||3,419,087||3,783,122||-9.6||1,021||5||3,349||14,947,613||Fox Searchlight|
|14||25th Hour||2,775,673||2,832,622||-2.0||490||5||5,665||7,584,011||Buena Vista|
|15||My Big Fat Greek Wedding||2,601,083||2,102,547||23.7||1,171||40||2,221||234,268,965||IFC Films|
|18||The Wild Thornberrys||2,103,608||2,844,770||-26.1||2,061||5||1,021||37,707,036||Paramount|
|19||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||1,904,561||2,408,476||-20.9||1,077||10||1,768||257,897,677||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 77,509,765||$ 60,171,857||28.8|
|Top 10 vs. 2002||139,988,846||144,549,318||-3.2|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Data source: Exhibitor Relations, EDI. Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated : January 21, 2003 at 9:30PM EST