Weekend Box Office (October 3 - 5, 2003)
THIS WEEKEND Jack Black rocked his way to the top of the charts with his new comedy School of Rock which ruled the North American box office during the first weekend of October. Close behind was Denzel Washington's cop thriller Out of Time with a respectable second-place bow. Despite the two solid new entries, the overall top ten still lagged behind the similar frames from last year and two years ago.
Hit-starved Paramount finally had something to celebrate this weekend with the impressive launch of School of Rock which hit number one with $19.6M from 2,614 theaters, according to final studio figures. The Richard Linklater comedy averaged a potent $7,507 per site and even earned glowing reviews from some of the nation's toughest critics. School stars rising comedian Black as a rocker who teaches a class of ten-year-old prep school children how to be rock musicians.
The PG-13 film appealed to both adults and kids as 52% of the crowd was under 25, according to studio research. Males and females were split evenly which also pointed to the broad appeal of the pic. Budgeted in the low $30M range, School of Rock should generate a domestic gross at least double the cost of the film.
Denzel Washington was robbed of his usual first-place position and settled for the runner-up spot with the cop drama Out of Time which debuted with $16.2M. MGM's PG-13 release about a police chief under investigation for murder averaged a good $5,262 in each of 3,076 locations. The opening fell into the range of Washington's The Bone Collector and John Q and did not break the $20M mark like the fall hits Training Day and Remember the Titans did.
Last weekend's heavyweight champ The Rundown fell 48% in its second weekend and collected $9.7M for third place. After ten days, Universal's action-comedy starring The Rock and Seann William Scott has grossed $32.6M. Co-financed by Sony, the $80M film looks to reach about $60M domestically.
Buena Vista widened the run of its hit Diane Lane drama Under the Tuscan Sun from 1,226 to 1,697 and slipped just 21% to fourth place with $7.7M. The PG-13 pic has taken in $20.7M in ten days and seems headed for the vicinity of $50M.
The family drama Secondhand Lions slipped 37% to $5.2M and pushed its total to $30.6M. Sony's vampire thriller Underworld dropped another 46% in its third weekend to $5.1M for a 17-day sum of $44.8M.
Expanding from 488 to 864 theaters, the Bill Murray pic Lost in Translation climbed three spots to seventh place with $4.2M. The Focus Features release averaged a solid $4,819 in its fourth weekend and reached $14M.
The Fighting Temptations sank 47% to $3.4M giving the Paramount gospel pic $24.6M. Sony's Once Upon A Time in Mexico followed in ninth with $2.6M, off 48%, for a total tally of $53.1M. Buena Vista's Cold Creek Manor rounded out the top ten with $2.5M giving the domestic thriller just $18.3M to date.
Two new releases enjoyed sparkling debuts in their limited bows in New York and Los Angeles. Lions Gate unleashed the Val Kilmer porn murder pic Wonderland in five cinemas and grossed $91,798 for a $18,360 average. Miramax countered with the dwarf drama The Station Agent which took in $57,785 from three venues for an equally impressive $19,262 average.
Two films fell out of the top ten over the weekend. Nicolas Cage's Matchstick Men dropped 48% to $2.3M in its fourth heist. The Warner Bros. comedy has taken in $34.2M thus far and should finish with around $40M. The Miramax flop Duplex collapsed 52% to $2.2M in only its second weekend bringing its ten-day cume to $7.9M. Look for a $11-13M final on this comedy followed by a swift trip to video shelves.
The top ten films grossed $76.1M which was down 22% from last year when Red Dragon opened at number one with $36.5M; and down 6% from 2001 when Training Day debuted in the top spot with $22.6M.
Compared to projections, School of Rock opened a few notches above my $17M forecast while Out of Time was on target with my $16M prediction.
For reviews of School of Rock and Out of Time visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Intolerable Cruelty, Kill Bill, The House of the Dead, and Good Boy all open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Oct 3 - 5||Sep 26 - 28||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||School of Rock||$ 19,622,714||2,614||1||$ 7,507||$ 19,622,714||Paramount|
|2||Out of Time||16,185,316||3,076||1||5,262||16,185,316||MGM|
|4||Under the Tuscan Sun||7,682,053||9,751,425||-21.2||1,697||2||4,527||20,740,822||Buena Vista|
|5||Secondhand Lions||5,183,674||8,258,330||-37.2||3,032||3||1,710||30,624,785||New Line|
|7||Lost in Translation||4,163,333||3,688,538||12.9||864||4||4,819||14,017,704||Focus|
|8||The Fighting Temptations||3,386,543||6,388,472||-47.0||1,762||3||1,922||24,576,247||Paramount|
|9||Once Upon A Time in Mexico||2,626,304||5,004,233||-47.5||2,097||4||1,252||53,068,097||Sony|
|10||Cold Creek Manor||2,511,141||4,405,084||-43.0||1,938||3||1,296||18,340,205||Buena Vista|
|11||Matchstick Men||2,267,466||4,354,363||-47.9||2,007||4||1,130||34,188,065||Warner Bros.|
|13||Pirates of the Caribbean||1,629,244||2,374,249||-31.4||1,211||13||1,345||297,930,745||Buena Vista|
|14||Cabin Fever||1,090,054||2,082,307||-47.7||1,056||4||1,032||19,786,417||Lions Gate|
|17||Freaky Friday||696,516||1,315,913||-47.1||921||9||756||107,723,361||Buena Vista|
|18||Finding Nemo||659,505||360,887||82.7||604||19||1,092||336,477,830||Buena Vista|
|20||Jeepers Creepers 2||407,081||447,312||-9.0||570||6||714||34,816,435||MGM|
|Top 5||$ 58,356,537||$ 52,350,598||11.5|
|Top 20 vs. 2002||87,435,244||105,843,911||-17.4|
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 : October 6, 2003 at 8:30PM EDT
Gitesh Pandya can be seen each Friday on "The Biz" airing at 12:30pm and 9:30pm ET on CNNfn.