Weekend Box Office (January 24 - 26, 2003)
THIS WEEKEND With Americans glued to their television sets over Super Bowl weekend, the box office was relatively calm with the new horror film Darkness Falls topping the charts with $12M, according to final studio figures. The Sony release played wide in 2,837 locations and averaged a decent $4,239 per theater. With no other fright flicks in the marketplace, the PG-13 film offered counterprogramming and delivered a top spot debut. Audiences polled by CinemaScore.com gave Darkness Falls a not-so-encouraging B- grade.
Last weekend's winner, Kangaroo Jack, slipped 30% to second place with $11.5M pushing its ten-day total to $35.1M. The $60M Warner Bros. release should find its way to about $65-70M.
Oscar front-runner Chicago made use of its three big Golden Globes and climbed three spots to third place with $8.2M. Now in the highest chart position of its five-week run, the Hollywood musical has stashed away $40.4M in its bank and averaged a dazzling $13,375 from 616 venues.
Sony's National Security suffered the biggest decline in the top ten dropping 49% to $7.3M raising its total to $26M.
Chart inseparables The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Catch Me If You Can took in weekend takes of $6.6M and $6.5M respectively. The New Line megablockbuster slipped 36% and lifted its cume to $308.8M putting it at number 12 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after Star Wars Episode II ($310.4M). Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks hit fell 39% and brought its sum to $145M.
Former number-one Just Married followed in seventh with $6.5M, down 45%, for a $43.4M cume.
Miramax expanded its George Clooney-directed film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind from 5 to 1,769 theaters and grossed $5.8M for a weak eighth-place bow. Averaging only $3,297 per venue, the R-rated story about the secret life of Chuck Barris has grossed $6.3M to date and with its CinemaScore.com grade of C, does not look to last too long.
Jack Nicholson's About Schmidt slipped a scant 5% to $5.4M for a $37.7M total. The Hours rounded out the top ten with an estimated $3.9M from 502 locations for a solid $7,837 average. Cume to date is $13.9M.
Buena Vista reported a strong performance from its Saturday sneak previews of the action-comedy Shanghai Knights. The film attracted an audience that was evenly divided among all demographic groups and 90% of the shows were sold out. A very high 95% described the Jackie Chan-Owen Wilson starrer as "excellent" or "very good." The studio will open the sequel to Shanghai Noon on February 7 in over 2,500 theaters.
The top ten films grossed $73.9M which was down 29% from last year when Black Hawk Down remained at number one with $17M; but up 11% from 2001 when The Wedding Planner debuted on top with $13.5M.
Compared to projections, Darkness Falls opened very close to my $13M forecast while Confessions of a Dangerous Minds debuted a bit below my $8M prediction.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Recruit, Final Destination 2, Biker Boyz, and The Guru all open.
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|#||Title||Jan 24 - 26||Jan 17 - 19||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Darkness Falls||$ 12,024,917||2,837||1||$ 4,239||$ 12,024,917||Sony|
|2||Kangaroo Jack||11,548,247||16,580,209||-30.3||2,848||2||4,055||35,112,415||Warner Bros.|
|5||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||6,611,705||10,274,388||-35.6||2,666||6||2,480||308,821,306||New Line|
|6||Catch Me If You Can||6,501,059||10,696,726||-39.2||2,776||5||2,342||144,962,124||DreamWorks|
|8||Confessions of a Dangerous Mind||5,833,052||76,913||1,769||4||3,297||6,332,676||Miramax|
|9||About Schmidt||5,382,302||5,669,076||-5.1||1,236||7||4,355||37,745,475||New Line|
|11||A Guy Thing||3,363,857||6,988,749||-51.9||2,520||2||1,335||12,300,001||MGM|
|12||Gangs of New York||2,764,424||3,712,112||-25.5||1,905||6||1,451||65,377,894||Miramax|
|13||Two Weeks Notice||2,402,271||4,009,157||-40.1||1,858||6||1,293||88,824,947||Warner Bros.|
|14||My Big Fat Greek Wedding||1,704,430||2,173,330||-21.6||1,143||41||1,491||236,448,697||IFC Films|
|15||Antwone Fisher||1,670,328||2,776,529||-39.8||970||6||1,722||17,141,521||Fox Searchlight|
|16||Maid in Manhattan||1,553,854||3,113,850||-50.1||1,433||7||1,084||91,082,447||Sony|
|17||25th Hour||1,433,215||2,291,590||-37.5||495||6||2,895||9,586,594||Buena Vista|
|Top 5||$ 45,732,544||$ 63,792,347||-28.3|
|Top 10 vs. 2002||92,745,129||124,288,196||-25.4|
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 28, 2003 at 12:30AM EST