Weekend Box Office (September 19 - 21, 2003)
THIS WEEKEND Vampires ruled the box office as the supernatural thriller Underworld opened at number one with $21.8M, according to final studio figures. Attacking 2,915 theaters, the R-rated film averaged a terrific $7,463. Underworld stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman and cost $22M to produce giving Sony's Screen Gems unit a profitable release.
Debuting in second place was the family drama Secondhand Lions with $12.1M from 3,013 theaters. Starring Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall, and Michael Caine, the PG-rated New Line release averaged a good $4,029 per location.
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce Knowles made an impressive splash with their new musical saga The Fighting Temptations which opened in third place with a solid $11.8M. Paramount released the PG-13 title in 2,026 theaters and averaged a solid $5,804 per site.
Dropping from first to fourth place was the Antonio Banderas-Johnny Depp actioner Once Upon A Time in Mexico with $11M. Off 53%, the Sony release has banked $41M in ten days and should find its way to about $70M.
Buena Vista debuted its suspense thriller Cold Creek Manor in fifth place with $8.2M from 2,035 locations. The Dennis Quaid-Sharon Stone film averaged a decent $4,025 per venue.
The Nicolas Cage comedy Matchstick Men dropped a moderate 42% in its sophomore weekend and collected $7.6M. The Warner Bros. release boasts a ten-day cume of $24.2M and should reach $45-50M. Paramount's Dickie Roberts dipped just 25% to $3.8M putting its sum at $17.3M after 17 days. Lions Gate saw its horror flick Cabin Fever drop 58% in its second weekend to $3.6M. With $14.7M in ten days, the low-budget pic looks to reach roughly $25M.
The unstoppable blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean eased just 23% to $3.5M and pushed its cume to a mammoth $292.5M. The Disney adventure now sits at number 17 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters after 1999's The Sixth Sense which took in $293.5M. By the end of the week, Pirates will surpass Sense to become the studio's highest-grossing live-action movie ever.
Popping its head into the top ten in its second weekend of limited release was the Bill Murray drama Lost in Translation which grossed $2.6M from just 183 locations. The Focus Features title averaged an outstanding $14,332 and lifted its total to $4M.
The latest Woody Allen comedy Anything Else debuted outside of the top ten with $1.7M from 1,033 theaters. The DreamWorks release averaged a poor $1,620 per theater and performed even worse than the director's recent outings.
With all the new activity, half of last weekend's top ten fell out of the chart. Disney's Freaky Friday fell 37% to $2.5M and lifted its tally to $105.1M. Universal's acclaimed horse-racing drama Seabiscuit took in $1.6M, off 41%, for a $116M cume. Finals of $112M and $121M look likely.
The Kevin Costner western Open Range dropped 48% to $1.4M giving the Buena Vista release $55.8M to date. Look for a $58-60M total. S.W.A.T. fell 54% to $1.2M and a $114.7M sum on its way to $118M. MGM's horror sequel Jeepers Creepers 2 lost two-thirds of its audience and took in $1M for a $33.6M total. A $36M final should result.
The top ten films grossed $85.9M which was up 33% from last year when Barbershop remained at number one with $12.8M; and up 119% from 2001 when Hardball stayed in the top spot with $8.1M.
Compared to projections, Underworld opened a few notches above my $18M forecast. The Fighting Temptations and Secondhand Lions both debuted very close to my respective predictions of $12M and $11M. Cold Creek Manor, Lost in Translation, and Anything Else also premiered close to my projections of $8M, $3M and $2.5M, respectively.
For a review of Cabin Fever visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Rundown, The Duplex, and Under the Tuscan Sun all open.
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|#||Title||Sep 19 - 21||Sep 12 - 14||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Underworld||$ 21,753,759||2,915||1||$ 7,463||$ 21,753,759||Sony|
|2||Secondhand Lions||12,139,832||3,013||1||4,029||12,139,832||New Line|
|3||The Fighting Temptations||11,758,372||2,026||1||5,804||11,758,372||Paramount|
|4||Once Upon A Time in Mexico||11,007,367||23,424,118||-53.0||3,289||2||3,347||40,951,922||Sony|
|5||Cold Creek Manor||8,190,574||2,035||1||4,025||8,190,574||Buena Vista|
|6||Matchstick Men||7,552,427||13,087,307||-42.3||2,711||2||2,786||24,233,745||Warner Bros.|
|8||Cabin Fever||3,609,896||8,633,585||-58.2||2,105||2||1,715||14,722,225||Lions Gate|
|9||Pirates of the Caribbean||3,480,968||4,506,400||-22.8||1,746||11||1,994||292,495,912||Buena Vista|
|10||Lost in Translation||2,622,737||925,087||183.5||183||2||14,332||3,957,342||Focus|
|11||Freaky Friday||2,540,613||4,061,689||-37.4||1,850||7||1,373||105,099,613||Buena Vista|
|14||Open Range||1,411,028||2,706,853||-47.9||1,465||6||963||55,762,861||Buena Vista|
|16||Jeepers Creepers 2||1,007,970||3,019,860||-66.6||1,358||4||742||33,591,118||MGM|
|20||American Splendor||510,330||840,774||-39.3||260||6||1,963||4,640,236||Fine Line|
|Top 5||$ 64,849,904||$ 54,693,438||18.6|
|Top 20 vs. 2002||97,214,415||74,316,274||30.8|
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 : September 22, 2003 at 9:00PM EDT
Gitesh Pandya can be seen each Friday on "The Biz" airing at 12:30pm and 9:30pm ET on CNNfn.