Weekend Box Office (July 6 - 8, 2001)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND In what has to be considered the second upset in the last three weeks, the Warner Bros. talking animal adventure Cats & Dogs took the checkered flag at the box office, out dueling Miramax's ghostly comedy spoof Scary Movie 2.
Showing that the world just can't get enough of animals that can talk, Cats & Dogs opened strong this weekend with $21.7M, according to final studio figures. Having debuted on Wednesday, Cats has a total gross over five days of $35.8M. Averaging a top 10 best of $7,141 per theater, Cats opened stronger over the long weekend than the last talking animal picture Dr. Dolittle 2 which bowed just 2 weeks ago to a $25M opening. Climbing 21% from Friday-to-Saturday, Cats has a promising future ahead. With no other films aimed directly at kids due for release until August, Cats & Dogs should be able to cross the $100M mark with ease.
In second place this weekend was the Wayans brothers' second trip to spoof-land, Scary Movie 2. Opening almost exactly a year after the original, Scary scared up $20.5M over the three-day weekend, and $34M since its opening on Wednesday. Playing in 3,220 sites, the R-rated comedy averaged a solid $6,368 per theater. Last year the first Scary Movie opened with $42.3M over a normal three-day weekend, on its way to a $157M domestic total. With a Friday-to-Saturday increase of only 4% the sequel is going to be hard pressed to reach the heights of the original.
Last week's number one, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence slipped two spots to number three this weekend with $14M. Slipping an alarming 52% from last weekend, A.I.'s total gross now stands at $59.6M. By comparison, Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning Saving Private Ryan had $73.4M in the bank over its first ten days. While A.I. may be able to reach the $100M mark, it still has to be considered a disappointment for a film with two highly acclaimed names like Spielberg and Kubrick attached to it. The film, which cost a reported $100M to make, has apparently scared away moviegoers with a darker than expected story line.
Debuting in fourth place this weekend was the Jet Li/Bridget Fonda action-adventure pic Kiss of the Dragon. Kicking up the second highest average ($6,570 from 2,025 theaters) in the top ten, Dragon opened with $13.3M this weekend. Li's last project, Romeo Must Die opened in March of last year with $18M on its way to a $56M total. Dragon looks to end up in the $50-60M range as well.
Rounding out the top five this weekend was the surprise hit of the summer, The Fast and the Furious. Racing to the tune of $12.3M this weekend, Furious crossed the $100M mark on Sunday, becoming the seventh film this year to do so. With a reported negative cost of only $38M, Universal's Vin Diesel film has become one of the most profitable films so far this year. Its total gross now stands at $101.4M.
Outside of the top five, Dr. Dolittle 2 suffered slightly at the hands of the other talking animal picture, and barked up another $10.5M this weekend, bringing its cume to $71.9M. Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider came in seventh with $6.7M, bringing its total to $115.5M. In eighth place was everyone's favorite ogre, Shrek which took in $6M. Dropping a top ten low of only 22% from last weekend, the DreamWorks animated wonder's total now stands at a fairy tale like $240.6M.
In ninth place is the Disney animated adventure Atlantis, which grabbed another $5.1M over the weekend. Its cume now stands at $69.4M. And rounding out the top ten was the John Singleton helmed Baby Boy. Dropping 44% from last week Boy picked up $4.8M, bringing its total to $20.8M.
Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. Buena Vista's teen romance Crazy/Beautiful slipped just 22% to $3.7M and seems headed for a $21-24M final. The distributor's summer tentpole pic Pearl Harbor slid 31% to $3.2M in its seventh weekend. The Jerry Bruckheimer flick has grossed $186.6M and should reach $195-200M. John Travolta's action thriller Swordfish fell 51% to $2.1M for a $65.7M cume on its way to about $70M.
The top ten films grossed $114.9M which was down 13% from last year when Scary Movie opened in the top spot with $42.3M; but up 12% from 1999 when American Pie debuted at number one with $18.7M.
Compared to projections, Scary Movie 2 came in around half of what I predicted, while Cats & Dogs and Kiss of the Dragon came fairly close to what I projected.
For reviews of Scary Movie 2, A.I. : Artificial Intelligence and The Fast and the Furious, visit The Chief Report.
Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on which of next weekend's three new movies will open best. In last week's survey, readers were asked if Pearl Harbor would cross $200M domestically. Of 5,412 responses, 44% said yes while 56% thought no. Read the Weekly Rewind column which looks back at June 1993.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Final Fantasy : The Spirits Within, Legally Blonde, and The Score all open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||July 6 - 8||Jun. 29 - Jul. 1||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Dist.|
|1||Cats and Dogs||$ 21,707,617||3,040||1||$ 7,141||$ 35,756,549||Warner Bros.|
|2||Scary Movie 2||20,503,356||3,220||1||6,368||34,013,007||Miramax|
|3||A.I. : Artificial Intelligence||14,037,488||29,352,630||-52.2||3,242||2||4,330||59,573,204||Warner Bros.|
|4||Kiss of the Dragon||13,304,027||2,025||1||6,570||13,304,027||Fox|
|5||The Fast and the Furious||12,283,220||20,054,890||-38.8||2,798||3||4,390||101,385,540||Universal|
|6||Dr. Dolittle 2||10,466,709||15,812,072||-33.8||3,028||3||3,457||71,891,189||Fox|
|7||Lara Croft: Tomb Raider||6,727,225||10,212,454||-34.1||3,010||4||2,235||115,543,168||Paramount|
|9||Atlantis: The Lost Empire||5,068,438||8,285,689||-38.8||2,272||5||2,231||69,424,804||Buena Vista|
|12||Pearl Harbor||3,242,099||4,722,956||-31.4||1,434||7||2,261||186,599,845||Buena Vista|
|15||Sexy Beast||736,683||710,787||3.6||134||4||5,498||3,088,225||Fox Searchlight|
|16||The Mummy Returns||708,965||1,143,390||-38.0||709||10||1,000||199,391,125||Universal|
|19||The Anniversary Party||428,198||433,257||-1.2||106||5||4,040||2,541,364||Fine Line|
|Top 5||$ 81,835,708||$ 84,038,449||-2.6|
|Top 20 vs. 2000||128,731,376||140,477,639||-8.4|
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 : July 9, 2001 at 8:30PM EDT