Weekend Box Office (August 20 - 22, 2004)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND Exorcist: The Beginning scared enough moviegoers to take the top spot at the box office this weekend, while last weekend's champ, Alien vs. Predator, was shot down in its second go around. Without a Paddle opened well, Open Water had a successful expansion, and Benji Off The Leash, well, insert your own joke here.
Fans of the terrifying original came out in larger-than-expected numbers this weekend, as the Warner Bros. horror prequel Exorcist: The Beginning took the number one spot at the box office. Version two, directed by Renny Harlin, scared up $18M this weekend, according to final figures, from 2,803 screens, for an average of $6,440. Its Friday-to-Saturday decline of 10% does not bode well for the future, but the opening shows that audiences love a good scare, especially from a name brand product. The original Exorcist was released in December of 1973 and went on to gross an astounding $203M, but don't expect this film to gross anywhere near that amount. The only question now is, will version one of the prequel, directed by Paul Schrader, see the light of day in theaters, or will it be saved for the DVD?
Debuting in second place was the Paramount buddy comedy Without a Paddle, starring Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Daz Shepard. The PG-13 tale of three guys on the hunt for the legendary DB Cooper, delivered $13.5M this weekend, with a per screen average of a solid $4,955.
Falling one spot to number three was the Disney sequel, The Princess Diaries 2. Off a reasonable 43.1% from last weekend, the Anne Hathaway starrer grossed $13M, bringing its total to $61.2M. Look for the film to end its run flirting with the magical $100M mark.
Crash landing in fourth place was last weekend's number one, Alien vs. Predator. Down a hefty 67.6%, the battle of the popular creatures took in $12.4M this weekend, bringing its cume to $62.9M. Its percentage drop was comparable to The Village, which dropped 67.5% in its second weekend. Look for the final gross of the creature feature to end up in the neighborhood of $80M.
Expanding nationwide this weekend was the real life shark tale, Open Water. The 80 minute story of two people trapped in shark-filled waters brought in $11.4M this weekend, for a per screen average of $4,213. Its cume now stands at $14.5M.
In sixth place was the Tom Cruise - Jamie Foxx vehicle, Collateral, which grossed $10.1M, bringing its cume to $69.7M. In seventh was Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy, which took in $6.4M, raising its total to a robust $150.4M. Its 25% drop from last weekend was the lowest in the top ten. The first film in the series, The Bourne Identity, had a final gross of $121.6M only two years ago.
Two films in their fourth weekend of release took the eighth and ninth spots this weekend. In eighth, off 33% from last weekend was the Denzel Washington remake, The Manchurian Candidate, which offered up $4M this weekend. Its cume now stands at $54.5M. In ninth place was M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, which was off 48% for a weekend take of $3.7M. Its total now stands at $107M.
Rounding out the top ten was kid pic Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, which grossed $3.2M, off 66% from last weekend, bringing its total up to $15.5M. Just outside the top ten at number eleven was Garden State, which took in $3M, bringing its total to $6.5M, and giving the state of New Jersey some good news this week. And lastly, debuting far, far away from the top ten was the family dog film, Benji Off the Leash, which barked up $1.5M for a poor per screen average of $1,742.
The top ten films grossed $96M which was up 20% from last year when Freddy vs. Jason remained at number one with $13.2M and up 34% from 2002 when Signs regained the top spot with $14.3M.
Compared to projections, Exorcist: The Beginning opened higher than Gitesh's $12M forecast, while Without a Paddle and Open Water came in on target with his $13M and $12M predictions, respectively.
For reviews of Without a Paddle and Open Water visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, and Suspect Zero all open nationwide.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Aug 20 - 22||Aug 13 - 15||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Exorcist: The Beginning||$ 18,054,001||2,803||1||$ 6,441||$ 18,054,001||Warner Bros.|
|2||Without A Paddle||13,528,946||2,730||1||4,956||13,528,946||Paramount|
|3||Princess Diaries 2||13,051,560||22,956,453||-43.1||3,490||2||3,740||61,217,735||Buena Vista|
|4||Alien vs. Predator||12,409,624||38,291,056||-67.6||3,401||2||3,649||62,962,235||Fox|
|5||Open Water||11,413,017||894,747||1175.6||2,709||3||4,213||14,493,924||Lions Gate|
|7||The Bourne Supremacy||6,469,275||8,600,575||-24.8||2,532||5||2,555||150,393,515||Universal|
|8||The Manchurian Candidate||4,017,560||6,013,857||-33.2||1,920||4||2,092||54,543,247||Paramount|
|9||The Village||3,722,806||7,157,635||-48.0||2,249||4||1,655||107,049,072||Buena Vista|
|11||Garden State||3,020,555||1,387,775||117.7||652||4||4,633||6,510,004||Fox Searchlight|
|14||Napoleon Dynamite||1,787,873||1,756,496||1.8||577||11||3,099||19,111,581||Fox Searchlight|
|15||Little Black Book||1,517,423||3,784,115||-59.9||1,640||3||925||18,427,929||Sony|
|16||Benji: Off the Leash!||1,512,000||877||1||1,724||1,541,381||Mulberry Square|
|17||The Notebook||774,126||1,155,431||-33.0||621||9||1,247||76,295,611||New Line|
|18||Fahrenheit 9/11||596,499||1,011,855||-41.0||446||9||1,337||116,761,122||Lions Gate / IFC|
|20||Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle||489,985||1,404,200||-65.1||401||4||1,222||17,327,672||New Line|
|Top 5||$ 68,457,148||$ 95,507,887||-28.3|
|Top 20 vs. 2003||111,159,023||92,784,390||19.8|
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 : August 23, 2004 at 8:30PM EDT
Gitesh Pandya can be seen each Friday on "The Biz" airing live at 12:30pm ET on CNNfn with replays at 4:30pm and 9:30pm.