Weekend Box Office (September 24 - 26, 2004)
by Gitesh Pandya
THIS WEEKEND The supernatural thriller The Forgotten led a depressed North American box office opening to $21M from 3,104 theaters, according to final studio figures. Averaging a robust $6,773 per location, the Sony title stars Julianne Moore as a mother whose life isn't what she always thought it was. Gary Sinise and Anthony Edwards co-star in the PG-13 film. With The Forgotten, the marketplace for the first time all year boasted only one film grossing more than $7M.
Nosediving 57% in its second flight, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow fell to second place with $6.7M pushing its cume to $25.5M in ten days. The $70M Paramount release should end its domestic journey with about $40M.
Buena Vista's baseball comedy Mr. 3000 dropped 41% to $5.1M in its second turn at the plate. The Bernie Mac pic has grossed $15.4M after ten days and looks to reach $25-30M. In its third weekend, the Sony actioner Resident Evil: Apocalypse fell 53% to $4M for a 17-day total of $43.5M.
Moviegoers failed to make it out to vote for Fox's First Daughter which opened poorly with only $4M. Averaging a pitiful $1,771 from 2,260 locations, the PG-rated Katie Holmes film about the offspring of the U.S. President is the second film of the year to explore this subject matter after January's Chasing Liberty starring Mandy Moore which bowed to only $6.1M.
The New Line thriller Cellular dropped 46% to $3.7M and lifted its sum to $25.1M after 17 days. Kirsten Dunst watched her tennis film Wimbledon get crushed 53% in its second set to $3.3M for a ten-day cume of $12.1M. Universal's $31M date flick should end its tournament with a disappointing $20M from North America. International results should be more promising as evidenced by its number one debut in the U.K. this weekend with $3.2M and 22% market share. Australia, home to another of the sport's Grand Slams, opens the film this Thursday.
The British horror spoof comedy Shaun of the Dead made a solid debut in seventh place grossing $3.3M from only 607 theaters. Averaging $5,487 per site (second best in the top ten), the Focus Features zombie flick was a hit in its native UK last spring.
Paramount's hit comedy Without a Paddle grossed $2.4M, off 35%, for a cume of $53.5M. The Jet Li film Hero rounded out the top ten slipping just 21% to $2.2M and a $49.2M total.
In limited release, a pair of South American-set films debuted to scorching results. Focus Features opened the critically acclaimed Che Guevara film The Motorcycle Diaries in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles and grossed $159,819. Averaging a spectacular $53,273 per location, Diaries expands to about 60 theaters on Friday. Meanwhile, RBC Radio released an exclusive run of the historical drama Guiana 1838 in one Queens location and grossed a stunning $70,910 over the weekend.
The top ten films grossed $55.7M which was down 25% from last year when The Rundown opened at number one with $18.5M; and down 37% from 2002 when Sweet Home Alabama set a September record opening in the top spot with $35.6M.
Compared to projections, The Forgotten opened stronger than my $14M forecast while First Daughter and Shaun of the Dead both debuted a notch away from my respective predictions of $5M and $2M.
Take this week's NEW Reader Survey on the opening of Shark Tale. In last week's survey, readers were asked whether Reese Witherspoon would earn an Oscar nomination for Vanity Fair. Of 1,768 responses, 66% said Yes while 34% voted No.
For a NEW review of The Motorcycle Diaries, visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Shark Tale and Ladder 49 both open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Sep 24 - 26||Sep 17 - 19||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||The Forgotten||$ 21,022,111||3,104||1||$ 6,773||$ 21,022,111||Sony|
|2||Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow||6,658,035||15,580,278||-57.3||3,170||2||2,100||25,517,193||Paramount|
|3||Mr. 3000||5,094,867||8,679,028||-41.3||2,736||2||1,862||15,418,888||Buena Vista|
|4||Resident Evil: Apocalypse||4,035,512||8,656,591||-53.4||2,836||3||1,423||43,463,183||Sony|
|7||Shaun of the Dead||3,330,781||607||1||5,487||3,330,781||Focus|
|9||Without A Paddle||2,353,609||3,631,754||-35.2||2,319||6||1,015||53,483,218||Paramount|
|11||Napoleon Dynamite||1,808,393||2,286,541||-20.9||1,024||16||1,766||35,721,724||Fox Searchlight|
|13||The Bourne Supremacy||1,232,395||1,816,910||-32.2||1,027||10||1,200||172,218,985||Universal|
|14||Garden State||1,085,390||1,588,655||-31.7||665||9||1,632||22,512,046||Fox Searchlight|
|15||The Princess Diaries 2||1,007,472||1,943,265||-48.2||1,408||7||716||93,244,545||Buena Vista|
|19||A Dirty Shame||448,914||29,384||133||2||3,375||488,115||Fine Line|
|20||The Cookout||425,052||934,398||-54.5||525||4||810||11,228,191||Lions Gate|
|Top 5||$ 40,812,592||$ 46,827,703||-12.8|
|Top 20 vs. 2003||65,258,351||87,304,130||-25.3|
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 27, 2004 at 8:00PM EDT
Gitesh Pandya can be seen each Friday on "The Biz" airing live at 12:30pm ET on CNNfn with a replay at 4:30pm.