Weekend Box Office (May 14 - 16, 2004)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND The ancient city of Troy led the charge at the box office this weekend, setting fire to everything in its path. Last weekend's champ Van Helsing crashed and burned in its second weekend, while the other newcomer, Breakin' All the Rules had a modest debut.
Warner Brothers had reason to smile this weekend as the Brad Pitt/Eric Bana/Orlando Bloom starrer Troy opened with $46.9M, according to final studio figures. Playing in an ultrawide 3,411 theaters, the Wolfgang Petersen-directed epic had a muscular per-theater average of $13,739. That average was higher compared to another epic period piece, May 2000's Gladiator, which opened to $34.8M from 2,938 locations for an average of $11,851. Gladiator of course went on to gross $183.4M and win the Academy Award for Best Picture. For Pitt, this marked the largest opening of his career, flying past the $38.1M of Ocean's Eleven from December 2001. For director Petersen, Troy was also his highest opening weekend, beating out 2000's The Perfect Storm which generated a debut of $41.3M. With such a successful opening, could a retelling of The Odyssey be far behind?
Falling a dismal 60% from its monster opening was the Hugh Jackman/Kate Beckinsale adventure Van Helsing, which grossed $20.7M. Lack of good word-of-mouth certainly hurt the film, as did the opening of another big budget adventure in Troy. The total gross for Van Helsing currently sits at $85.1M and it could finish its run at a somewhat disappointing $120-130M. Landing in third place were the high school girls you loved to hate, and hated to love, the Mean Girls, which took in $10.2M. Down a small 26% from last weekend, the best hold in the Top 10, the Tina Fey-penned comedy now stands at $55.4M.
In fourth place was Denzel Washington's Man on Fire. The revenge film brought in $5.1M this weekend, off 38%, bringing its cume to a solid $64.2M. Opening in fifth place from Sony was Breakin' All the Rules. Starring Jamie Foxx, Rules grossed $5.1M this weekend for a middle-of-the-road average of $3,861 from 1,318 theaters. According to the distributor, the audience breakdown was 52% under 25, 60% female and 65% African American.
Landing in sixth place this weekend was the Jennifer Garner comedy 13 Going on 30 which took in $4.1M, a drop of only 29% made even more impressive by the fact it lost 502 sites from last weekend. Its cume now stands at $48.5M. In seventh was Mary-Kate and Ashley "don't call us the Olsen twins" in New York Minute, which grossed $3.8M, down only 36% from last weekend's disastrous debut. Its gross now stands at $10.8M (or about what Mean Girls made in its third weekend alone). Look for the Olsen sisters film to end up with around $20M but find much greater life on the video shelves where young men, too embarrassed to see the movie in a theater, can watch it in the comfort of their own home.
In eighth place was Laws of Attraction which made $2M this weekend bringing its cume to $15.4M. In ninth place was the second half of Quentin Tarantino's fourth film, Kill Bill Vol. 2 which dug up $1.6M raising its total to $60.8M. Rounding out the top ten was the film no one is envious of, Envy, which made $1M bringing its cume to a sad $11.9M. And debuting in limited release was the Jim Jarmusch film Coffee and Cigarettes which grossed $99,832 from 5 theaters for a sparkling average of $19,162.
Compared to projections, both Troy and Breakin' All the Rules came in right on target with my predictions of $45M and $5M respectively.
Be sure to read BoxOfficeGuru.com's Seventh Annual Summer Box Office Preview.
Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on Shrek 2. For reviews of Troy and Van Helsing visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when the green ogre and company return in Shrek 2.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||May 14 - 16||May 7 - 9||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Troy||$ 46,865,412||3,411||1||$ 13,739||$ 46,865,412||Warner Bros.|
|4||Man on Fire||5,101,128||8,235,535||-38.1||2,650||4||1,925||64,169,492||Fox|
|5||Breakin' All the Rules||5,088,577||1,318||1||3,861||5,088,577||Sony|
|6||13 Going On 30||4,107,023||5,816,841||-29.4||2,656||4||1,546||48,522,282||Sony|
|7||New York Minute||3,814,307||5,962,106||-36.0||3,006||2||1,269||10,783,723||Warner Bros.|
|8||Laws of Attraction||2,009,380||3,678,133||-45.4||2,003||3||1,003||15,301,189||New Line|
|9||Kill Bill Vol.2||1,628,802||3,022,006||-46.1||1,401||5||1,163||60,836,074||Miramax|
|12||Super Size Me||759,182||516,641||46.9||113||2||6,718||1,525,154||Samuel Goldwyn|
|13||Home on the Range||734,638||1,253,738||-41.4||865||7||849||48,299,899||Buena Vista|
|14||Scooby Doo 2||643,454||1,009,389||-36.3||667||8||965||81,874,116||Warner Bros.|
|15||A Day Without A Mexican||619,976||56||1||11,071||619,976||Televisa Cine|
|16||Johnson Family Vacation||617,226||1,006,728||-38.7||562||6||1,098||29,648,953||Fox Searchlight|
|19||The Passion of the Christ||500,606||785,369||-36.3||1,206||12||415||368,894,610||NewMarket|
|Top 5||$ 87,965,398||$ 85,439,074||3.0|
|Top 20 vs. 2003||106,981,870||157,147,555||-31.9|
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 : May 17, 2004 at 9:15PM EDT
Gitesh Pandya can be seen each Friday on "The Biz" airing at 12:30pm ET on CNNfn.