Weekend Box Office (January 31 - February 2, 2003)
THIS WEEKEND Moviegoers were busy hitting the multiplexes as three new releases scored solid debuts while holdovers remained strong.
Al Pacino captured the number one spot for only the second time in the past decade with the CIA thriller The Recruit which bowed on top with $16.3M, according to final figures. Playing in 2,376 theaters, the Buena Vista release averaged a stellar $6,861 per venue. The PG-13 film co-starred Colin Farrell and was directed by Roger Donaldson (Species, Thirteen Days). Ticket buyers polled by CinemaScore.com gave The Recruit a favorable B+ grade.
Finishing close behind in second place was the horror sequel Final Destination 2 with $16M from 2,834 theaters - the widest of the frame's bows. The R-rated New Line pic averaged a solid $5,652 and spooked up more business than Final Destination's $10M debut from March 2000. The sequel was generally pleasing to fans as those polled by CinemaScore.com gave it a B+.
DreamWorks raced into third place with Biker Boyz, a saga of black motorcycle gangs in Los Angeles, which grossed $10.1M from 1,766 theaters. The PG-13 film averaged a good $5,723 per theater and earned a B+ grade from CinemaScore.com. Boyz stars Laurence Fishburne, Lisa Bonet, and Antwone Fisher's Derek Luke.
Kidpic Kangaroo Jack remained strong hopping back just 22% to $9M for a $45.9M cume. Still boasting the best average in the top ten ($11,321 per) was Miramax's Chicago with $7.1M, off 14%, and a total of $50.6M. This Friday, the Gere-Zellweger musical expands into more than 1,000 locations on the weekend before the announcement of Oscar nominations.Last weekend's champ Darkness Falls dropped 42% (a moderate decline for a fright flick) to $7M and gave the Sony title $21.8M in ten days.
In its seventh weekend of release, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers surpassed the gross of its predecessor, The Fellowship of the Ring, with a weekend take of $5.09M. Dipping only 23%, the New Line megasequel has upped its mammoth cume to $316M putting it at number nine on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters in between Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($317.6M) and Fellowship ($313.4M). The Two Towers also ranks as the highest-grossing sequel ever (counting Star Wars Episode I as the first installment of a new trilogy).
DreamWorks followed with Catch Me If You Can which took in $5.08M, down 22%, for a $152.2M total. Fox's honeymoon comedy Just Married slid 26% to $4.8M and pushed its 24-day cume to $49.7M. Jack Nicholson rounded out the top ten with About Schmidt which collected $4.5M, down just 16%, raising its sum to $44.2M.
Generating a solid debut in limited release was the Universal comedy The Guru which opened in 62 theaters grossing $613,485. The R-rated film's $9,894 average was second-best among standard films in the Top 30 after Chicago's $11,461. Starring Jimi Mistry, Heather Graham, and Marisa Tomei, The Guru will expand into ten more markets on February 14.
Three films dropped out of the top ten. Sony's National Security fell 41% to $4.3M and lifted its cume to $32.4M. The Martin Lawrence action-comedy looks to end its run with $43-46M. The Miramax pic Confessions of a Dangerous Mind slipped 26% to $4.3M and a $12.4M. The George Clooney-directed film should find its way to $26-30M. Paramount's The Hours eased 21% to $3.1M for a $18.5M cume. A Best Picture nod from Oscar will keep its clock ticking at the box office.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $85M which was up 16% from last year when Black Hawk Down remained at number one with $11.1M; and up 31% from 2001 when The Wedding Planner remained on top with $10.6M.
Compared to projections, The Recruit opened higher than my $11M forecast while Final Destination 2 was on target with my $16M projection. Biker Boyz also opened very close to my $9M projection.
Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on Gangs of New York. In last week's survey, readers were asked if The Recruit would open with over or under $14M. Of 1,527 responses, 59% correctly guessed Over while 41% thought Under.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Shanghai Knights, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, and Deliver Us From Eva all open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Jan 31 - Feb 2||Jan 24 - 26||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||The Recruit||$ 16,302,063||2,376||1||$ 6,861||$ 16,302,063||Buena Vista|
|2||Final Destination 2||16,017,141||2,834||1||5,652||16,017,141||New Line|
|4||Kangaroo Jack||9,048,362||11,548,247||-21.6||2,848||3||3,177||45,886,113||Warner Bros.|
|7||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||5,088,421||6,611,705||-23.0||2,175||7||2,340||316,026,494||New Line|
|8||Catch Me If You Can||5,075,589||6,501,059||-21.9||2,316||6||2,192||152,158,678||DreamWorks|
|10||About Schmidt||4,515,337||5,382,302||-16.1||1,236||8||3,653||44,193,308||New Line|
|12||Confessions of a Dangerous Mind||4,300,162||5,833,052||-26.3||1,776||5||2,421||12,390,990||Miramax|
|14||Gangs of New York||2,210,773||2,764,424||-20.0||1,485||7||1,489||68,764,382||Miramax|
|15||My Big Fat Greek Wedding||1,538,527||1,704,430||-9.7||1,076||42||1,430||238,540,872||IFC Films|
|16||Two Weeks Notice||1,488,486||2,402,271||-38.0||1,311||7||1,135||91,095,193||Warner Bros.|
|17||A Guy Thing||1,291,326||3,363,857||-61.6||1,512||3||854||14,500,498||MGM|
|18||Antwone Fisher||1,176,745||1,670,328||-29.6||679||7||1,733||18,900,043||Fox Searchlight|
|Top 5||$ 58,527,541||$ 45,732,544||28.0|
|Top 10 vs. 2002||106,743,917||92,406,929||15.5|
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 : February 3, 2003 at 10:00PM EST