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Under the Weather

January 24th, 2005

A massive snowstorm hit the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and New England over the weekend, and while we're usually skeptical about the effects weather patterns have on the box office, this was a particularly widespread storm. Even so, it alone cannot explain the 29.3% drop from last weekend, even after taking into account the post-holiday drop-off. Comparing this weekend to last year we see a much smaller 3.4% drop.

Opening in top spot was Are We There Yet? with $18.6 million, which not only made it the top draw of the weekend, but the only film in the top five to beat expectations. Reviews were, to be blunt, awful, and that may affect the film's legs. However, it should still show a profit given its small production budget.

Surprisingly, Coach Carter fell 56% at the box office to $10.5 million during its sophomore stint. Granted, the snow storm did push that figure downwards, but it's hard to believe that if the weather was clear it would have met pervious expectations. It will be interesting to see if this film can recover somewhat next weekend, or if the legs will be a lot shorter than expected.

For the first time in its run Meet the Fockers saw a serious drop at the box office. This weekend saw its haul slashed in half to $9.7 million, sparing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban from being pushed out of the top 5 for 2004 for one more week.

Despite adding nearly 400 theatres over the weekend, In Good Company slipped to $8.0 million, a drop of 44%. Like most films on this list, next weekend we should see if this was a result of poor word of mouth or snowstorm affect.

Racing Stripes rounded out the top five with just $6.8 million, which is a steeper than expected drop but still a fine result given its production budget.

Assault on Precinct 13 recovered somewhat from its weak Wednesday opening, bringing in $6.5 million over the weekend and $8.0 million since it opened. Even with reviews that were better than expected, this film might have trouble matching its production budget.

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Filed under: Meet the Fockers, Coach Carter, Racing Stripes, In Good Company, Assault On Precinct 13, Are We There Yet?