Weekend Box Office (March 16 - 18, 2001)
THIS WEEKEND Steven Seagal enjoyed the best opening of his career with the action thriller Exit Wounds which debuted at number one with $18.5M, according to final studio figures. Entering 2,830 theaters, the Warner Bros. release averaged a solid $6,532 and surprised many with his first good opening in over five years. Helping Exit Wounds attract a large crowd was co-star DMX whose multiplatinum hip hop albums have created a massive fan base. In the R-rated film, Seagal and DMX team up to fight crooked cops.
The successful opening of Exit Wounds comes as relief for Seagal whose career has sidelined in recent years. His last two movies, 1997's Fire Down Below and 1996's The Glimmer Man, debuted poorly with $6.1M and $7.6M respectively. But by teaming up with DMX, and producer Joel Silver (Lethal Weapon, The Matrix) the martial arts hero returned to the top of the box office - a location he routinely occupied earlier in his career with such hits as Hard to Kill, Marked For Death, and Under Siege. Warner Bros. did not offer early press screenings of Exit Wounds, however, exit polls were very positive with CinemaScore audiences giving the cop thriller an A- grade.
Landing with a bang in second place was the World War II drama Enemy at the Gates with $13.8M. The Paramount release had the fewest theaters among films in the top ten with 1,509 locations and averaged a strong $9,152. Enemy stars Jude Law as a heroic Russian sniper who takes down the Nazi regime in the Battle of Stalingrad. Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, and Ed Harris also star. Financed for about $70M by a handful of international production companies, the Jean-Jacques Annaud action film will expand into roughly 2,000 theaters on Friday hoping to capitalize on good word-of-mouth from the larger markets.
After two weeks at number one, The Mexican starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts slipped to third place with $8M. The DreamWorks release dropped 35% and has grossed $50.8M in 17 days. Warner Bros. took in $5M for the canine comedy See Spot Run which placed fifth bringing its cume to $24.8M. Robert De Niro's action thriller 15 Minutes crashed in its second weekend plunging 59% to $4.3M. With $17.9M in ten days, the New Line release looks to finish its run with around $25M.
Oscar candidates Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic each crossed the $100M mark over the weekend bringing the total number of films released in 2000 reaching that milestone to a record 22. Crouching Tiger eased just 5% to $4M putting its domestic total at $100.3M while Traffic slipped 13% to $3.4M for a $102.5M cume.
Other films in the top ten included Paramount's Down to Earth with $4M and $56.8M overall, and Miramax's Chocolat with $3.4M pushing its tally to $55.9M.
In limited release, Eros Entertainment debuted the cross-cultural comedy American Desi in 38 theaters and collected $305,054. Averaging a solid $8,028 per location, the film played evenly between males and females with 53% of the audience being under 25. Exit polls indicated that 89% of moviegoers would definitely recommend American Desi to a friend. (Note: Author is also a producer of this film.)
Falling out of the top ten were the teen comedy Get Over It with $2.8M and the children's picture Recess: School's Out which took in $1.6M. Totals stand at $8.1M and $33.3M respectively.
Compared to projections, Exit Wounds and Enemy at the Gates both opened stronger than my respective forecasts of $9M and $7M. The Mexican was close to my prediction of $8M.
The top ten films grossed $68.1M which was down 4% from last year when Erin Brockovich opened at number one with $28.1M; but up 23% from 1999 when Forces of Nature debuted in the top spot with $13.5M.
Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on who will win best director at this year's Academy Awards. In last week's survey, readers were asked who would win the Oscar for Best Actor. Of 2,885 responses, 39% said Russell Crowe, 33% selected Tom Hanks, 13% voted for Ed Harris, 13% picked Javier Bardem, and 2% chose Geoffrey Rush.
Read the Weekly Rewind column which reports on the top March openings. For a review of 15 Minutes visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Heartbreakers, Say It Isn't So, and The Brothers all open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and electronics at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Mar. 16 - 18||Mar. 9 - 11||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Dist.|
|1||Exit Wounds||$ 18,485,586||2,830||1||$ 6,532||$ 18,485,586||Warner Bros.|
|2||Enemy at the Gates||13,810,266||1,509||1||9,152||13,810,266||Paramount|
|4||See Spot Run||5,005,784||6,612,720||-24.3||2,656||3||1,885||24,813,934||Warner Bros.|
|5||15 Minutes||4,300,356||10,523,154||-59.1||2,337||2||1,840||17,898,141||New Line|
|6||Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon||4,044,988||4,256,899||-5.0||1,860||15||2,175||100,277,062||Sony Classics|
|7||Down to Earth||4,006,506||5,587,061||-28.3||2,425||5||1,652||56,808,135||Paramount|
|11||Get Over It||2,833,982||4,134,977||-31.5||1,742||2||1,627||8,054,468||Miramax|
|12||Recess: School's Out||1,649,102||2,308,781||-28.6||1,736||5||950||33,307,993||Buena Vista|
|13||O Brother, Where Art Thou?||1,488,876||1,705,723||-12.7||826||13||1,803||35,245,942||Buena Vista|
|15||The Wedding Planner||902,823||1,407,134||-35.8||885||8||1,020||58,704,208||Sony|
|16||Save the Last Dance||846,061||1,075,866||-21.4||862||10||982||87,258,450||Paramount|
|18||Sweet November||568,613||1,221,319||-53.4||705||4||807||24,418,719||Warner Bros.|
|19||Miss Congeniality||416,450||354,582||17.4||574||13||726||104,955,724||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 49,613,255||$ 40,814,972||21.6|
|Top 20 vs. 2000||79,096,666||84,227,653||-6.1|
This column is updated three times each week : Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Source : Exhibitor Relations, EDI. Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated : March 19, 2001 at 9:30PM EST