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Silence is Golden

April 24th, 2006

It was a mixed week with the total box office hitting just $110 million, down 9.0% from last week. On the other hand, that was up an impressive 17.4% from the same weekend last year and year-to-date 2006 is now leading 2005 by 4%. On an interesting side note, of the three new releases, the film that earned the worst reviews earned the best box office while the film that earned the of best reviews earned the weakest box office. Further proof that high quality is detrimental to a film's box office potential.

Silent Hill finished first and lived up to lowered expectations nearly perfectly this weekend with $20.2 million. Fans of the video game it is based on seemed to really love the movie, but those who have never played it were left dazed and confused. This does mean the film will likely be killed by the Fanboy Effect and will have short legs, but it also means it will likely have very, very strong DVD sales. (In fact, since the movie was distributed by Sony, it might be a good candidate for an early Blu-Ray release.)

Scary Movie 4 didn't fall quite as fast as predicted but still plummeted more than 58% to $16.8 million. Should the film recover over the next couple of weekends, then it could still hit $100 million by the time its run is over. However, should it suffer the same kind of drop-off, or even accelerate due to shedding theatres, then it will become the first movie ever to open with more than $40 million but fail to top $100 million in total. It is important to note that even if that does happen, the film will still make more than enough to pay for its production budget and will show a profit before it hits the home market.

The second new release of the week was The Sentinel and that film also matched expectations nearly perfectly earning $14.4 million. Given the more mature target audience, even with poor reviews this film should have better than average legs, but it will still have to wait until the home market to earn the majority of its revenue. As for its chances to earn a profit, that depends heavily on the film's international run, which doesn't start in earnest until later in the summer.

Ice Age: The Meltdown held up better than expected, dropping just 33% to $13.3 million over the weekend. The film now has $168.4 million overall and should top the original by this time next week.

There was some good news for The Wild as it slipped just 14% to $8.3 million during its second weekend of release. This is an amazing feat in this day and age, but it is a case of too little too late as the $75 million movie has pulled in just $22.2 million so far.

That was miles ahead of what American Dreamz earned as the satire finished in ninth place with just $3.7 million. Even with the best reviews of any wide release this week, this film will likely plummet next weekend and will see its theatre count chopped the week after that. On the other hand, it should see a second life on the home market and may even eventually see a profit.

One final note, Friends with Money managed to place 10th with $3.2 million in 991 theatres. This was a little lower than most people were expecting and any significant expansion from this point is very unlikely.

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Filed under: Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scary Movie 4, Silent Hill, The Wild, The Sentinel, Friends with Money, American Dreamz