Weekend Box Office (October 17 - 19, 2003)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND Leatherface and family killed Bill, ran away with the jury verdict, schooled Jack Black and (insert your own Mystic River pun here because I'm out of them) as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre slaughtered the competition this weekend.
New Line's remake of the classic 1974 horror film buzz sawed its way to a number one opening as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre cut a swath through the box office with a take of $28.M according to final figures.. Opening on just over 3,000 screens, the tale of five teenagers involved in the most brutal killings in Texas history, had a powerful per screen average of $9,315. While not up to par with New Line's other big horror entry, August's Freddy vs. Jason, which opened to $36.4M, Massacre did manage to generate the third largest October opening in history, coming in behind only 2002's Red Dragon ($36.5M) and 2000's Meet the Parents ($28.6M).
Landing in second place was last weekend's leader, Kill Bill, which dropped 43.4% from last weekend and brought in $12.4M, bringing its cume to $43.2M. Look for the first half of Quentin Tarantino's fourth film to end its run in the $75-80M range.
Coming in a somewhat disappointing third place was the all-star cast of Runaway Jury. Starring film heavyweights Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack and Rachel Weisz, the Fox production based on the John Grisham novel got a $11.8M verdict from the jury of filmgoers this weekend, for a per screen average of a so-so $4,205. For many films, a per screen average in the $4,000 range would be acceptable, but with the stars and marketing behind Runaway Jury, this opening has to be seen as underperforming.
In fourth place was everyone's favorite teacher Jack Black in School of Rock. Declining a slim 28.9% from last weekend, the lowest drop in the top ten, the Paramount release took in another $11M this weekend, bringing its cume to $54.8M.
Opening wide this past Wednesday and coming in fifth place for the weekend was the Clint Eastwood-directed Mystic River. Starring Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins, the story of three best friends brought back together after 25 years to because of the murder of one of their children, took in a $10.4M this weekend, for a per screen average of a stellar $7,120. Its cume now stands at $13.5M.
In sixth place was the canine comedy Good Boy! which fell 32% from last weekend, barking up $8.9M, and bringing its total to $25.7M. Look for the film to end its run in the $50-55M range. In seventh place was the Coen Brothers Intolerable Cruelty, which took in $6.5M this weekend, bringing its cume to $22.7M. Look for the George Clooney/Catherine Zeta-Jones pairing to end up in the $42-47M range as well. Its still early, but ask yourself if you would have bet that a movie starring talking dogs would out gross a movie starring Clooney and Zeta-Jones.
Dropping to eighth place was the Denzel Washington thriller, Out of Time, which fell 53% this weekend to $4M. Its cume now stands at $35.2M. In ninth place was the Diane Lane flick Under the Tuscan Sun which took in $3.37M this weekend, bringing its total to $33.65M. And rounding out the top ten was The Rock in The Rundown. Wrestling up $2.8M this weekend, the total for the Universal release is now $44.5M.
In limited release news, Disney's true tale of Veronica Guerin crashed and burned grossing only $611,276 from 450 screens for an average of $1,295. UA's Pieces of April, starring Katie Holmes, opened in 6 theaters and brought in $48,422 for a per screen average of $8,070. And Focus Features Sylvia opened on 3 screens with a total of $58,940 for a sparkling average of $19,646.
The top ten grossed $99.4M, up 47% from 2002 when The Ring opened at number one, and up 47.4% from 2001 when From Hell topped the charts.
Compared to projections, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre blew by my $18M prediction, Runaway Jury came in at less than half of my bullish $25M forecast, while Mystic River came in just under my $12M projection.
For reviews of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and School of Rock visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Beyond Borders, Radio, and Scary Movie 3 all open.
Marketplace: Shop for videos, DVDs, music, books, and posters at discounted prices using search engines
|#||Title||Oct 17 - 19||Oct 10 - 12||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Texas Chainsaw Massacre||$ 28,094,014||3,016||1||$ 9,315||$ 28,094,014||New Line|
|4||School of Rock||11,006,233||15,487,832||-28.9||2,951||3||3,730||54,898,025||Paramount|
|5||Mystic River||10,445,547||640,815||1,467||2||7,120||13,532,943||Warner Bros.|
|8||Out of Time||4,002,023||8,590,001||-53.4||2,344||3||1,707||35,230,719||MGM|
|9||Under the Tuscan Sun||3,379,245||4,911,328||-31.2||1,663||4||2,032||33,657,195||Buena Vista|
|11||Lost in Translation||1,903,194||2,822,419||-32.6||771||6||2,468||20,964,443||Focus|
|12||Secondhand Lions||1,884,995||3,297,211||-42.8||1,610||5||1,171||38,406,515||New Line|
|13||House of the Dead||1,763,212||5,683,280||-69.0||1,540||2||1,145||8,811,768||Artisan|
|14||The Fighting Temptations||1,034,764||1,910,356||-45.8||867||5||1,193||28,773,229||Paramount|
|16||Pirates of the Caribbean||653,715||1,022,122||-36.0||493||15||1,326||300,557,571||Buena Vista|
|17||Veronica Guerin||611,276||472||1||1,295||611,276||Buena Vista|
|18||Finding Nemo||511,514||626,484||-18.4||445||21||1,149||338,163,432||Buena Vista|
|20||Cold Creek Manor||280,113||1,078,319||-74.0||480||5||584||20,825,290||Buena Vista|
|Top 5||$ 73,807,340||$ 71,799,252||2.8|
|Top 20 vs. 2002||109,338,650||83,873,095||30.4|
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 20, 2003 at 8:30PM EDT