Weekend Box Office (April 15 - 17, 2005)
by Gitesh Pandya
THIS WEEKEND For the eighth consecutive frame, the North American box office was down from a year ago with the top ten dipping to yet another low for the year. The weekend's only new release, The Amityville Horror, easily led the weak field with a solid bow but the lack of competition allowed most holdovers to post sturdy holds.
MGM's fright flick remake The Amityville Horror topped the charts in its debut grossing $23.5M from 3,323 theaters for a solid $7,074 average, according to final studio figures. Directed by Andrew Douglas, the R-rated film offered moviegoers a new telling of the 1979 classic about a couple that moves into a haunted house where grisly murders took place. Just like 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and last year's Dawn of the Dead, Amityville was a remake of a popular horror flick from decades ago featuring younger stars of today. All opened at number one with more than $20M each. Poor reviews did little to deter fans from the $19M Ryan Reynolds starrer which should become a very profitable title for MGM which is in the process of being gobbled up by Sony.
Part of the current marketplace slump can be attributed to the lack of a mega-blockbuster like The Passion of the Christ which fueled spring sales last year with an eye-popping $360.8M at this point. By comparison, this year's top-grossing film Hitch has grossed less than half of that amount. However, another major contributor to the current lackluster climate is a significant reduction in the number of new films opening. So far, 34 new wide releases have opened this year, down 28% from the 47 during the same period last year. Hollywood hopes to reverse the curse in the coming weeks as the lucrative summer season approaches where a long line of sequels and remakes will bust into multiplexes from coast to coast.
Dropping only 28% in its second weekend was Paramount's African adventure Sahara with $13.1M pushing the ten-day tally to $36.4M. Produced for over $120M, the PG-13 flick should find its way to around $70-75M domestically. Fellow sophomore Fever Pitch also held up well slipping only 31% to $8.5M giving Fox $23.7M after ten days. The Drew Barrymore-Jimmy Fallon comedy carries a production cost of $30M and seems headed for a $45-50M finish.
Miramax's crime thriller Sin City witnessed another steep fall tumbling 53% to $6.7M in its third weekend lifting the cume to $61.3M. Sony lost only 31% for its comedy Guess Who which grossed $4.9M giving the Bernie Mac-Ashton Kutcher pic $57.5M to date.
Following in sixth was the MGM comedy Beauty Shop with $3.7M, down 45%, for a total of $31.2M. The Fox toon Robots eased just 23% to $3.6M and upped its sum to $115.8M.
More comedies followed with Miss Congeniality 2 taking in $3M, off 29%, leaving the Warner Bros. sequel with $41.7M. Sliding just 23% to $2.4M was The Pacifier which has given Disney $103.7M to date. Rounding out the top ten was the Joan Allen-Kevin Costner collaberation The Upside of Anger with $2.1M, down only 17%, for a $15.1M cume.
One new horror film knocked another fright flick out of the top ten over the weekend. The DreamWorks sequel The Ring Two fell 51% in its fifth scare to $1.4M pushing the total to $74.4M. The film should end its run with roughly $77M putting it 40% below the $129.1M of 2002's The Ring.
The top ten films grossed $71.5M which was down 9% from last year when Kill Bill Vol. 2 claimed first place with $25.1M; and down 15% from 2003 when Anger Management remained in the top spot with $25M.
Compared to projections, The Amityville Horror opened a few notches higher than my $20M forecast.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Interpreter, A Lot Like Love, and King's Ransom all open and Kung Fu Hustle expands nationally.
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|#||Title||Apr 15 - 17||Apr 8 - 10||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||The Amityville Horror||$ 23,507,007||3,323||1||$ 7,074||$ 23,507,007||MGM|
|8||Miss Congeniality 2||2,980,158||4,184,319||-28.8||2,625||4||1,135||41,676,315||Warner Bros.|
|9||The Pacifier||2,410,620||3,116,340||-22.6||2,068||7||1,166||103,727,286||Buena Vista|
|10||The Upside of Anger||2,069,066||2,500,503||-17.3||1,166||6||1,774||15,119,417||New Line|
|11||The Ring Two||1,399,367||2,867,390||-51.2||1,917||5||730||74,396,875||DreamWorks|
|13||Ice Princess||904,508||1,507,317||-40.0||1,138||5||795||22,182,814||Buena Vista|
|14||State Property 2||756,905||202||1||3,747||1,102,299||Lions Gate|
|17||Million Dollar Baby||628,184||702,019||-10.5||902||18||696||98,708,641||Warner Bros.|
|18||Melinda and Melinda||407,254||520,502||-21.8||302||5||1,349||3,036,583||Fox Searchlight|
|Top 5||$ 56,660,695||$ 58,450,120||-3.1|
|Top 20 vs. 2004||78,828,426||98,764,099||-20.2|
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 : April 19, 2005 at 5:30AM EDT