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Soft Box Office Getting Scary

April 15th, 2005

The 2005 box office has entered a bit of a slump and is falling further and further behind 2004 -- sitting 5% behind last years pace. To compound matters, it seems unlikely this weekend will turn things around as the lone wide release is a horror film, and they tend not to do extremely well in spring. While the film should easily win the weekend race, it could be the only film to bring in $10 million over the weekend.

The quickest way to judge The Amityville Horror is to compare it to other recent horror remakes. Dawn of the Dead was released during the same time of year and opened with $26.7 million before winding up its run at almost $60 million. However, Dawn of the Dead also earned much better reviews than Amityville has. On other hand, Texas Chainsaw Massacre brought in more, with weaker reviews, but it was helped by Halloween. That puts Amityville's prospects at $24 million for the weekend and $55 million for its whole run.

Next on the list is Sahara, which should see a serious drop-off this weekend, most likely dropping just below the $10 million mark. At $130 million, it is easily the most expensive movie of 2005 so far, and would need to make between $300 million and $350 million worldwide to show a profit. But at this pace it will be lucky to take in half that amount.

On the other hand, Sin City should cover its production budget this weekend with $8 million over the weekend. If the film can hit $70 million domestically, which is almost guaranteed at this point, then the film will just need an average international run to show a profit. In the end, Sin City should become a big hit at the home market, making it another success for director Robert Rodriguez.

This is an important weekend for Fever Pitch. A soft drop-off would result in the film hanging around theaters long enough to benefit from some of the upcoming holiday business. A steep drop-off will result in the film being gone and forgotten before Memorial Day. Chances are the film's drop-off will be on the high side at nearly 50%, or $6.5 million.

Rounding out the top five will be Guess Who, which has become a midlevel hit. This week the film should add $4.5 million to its running tally of $52.5 million.

One last note, State Property 2 opened on Wednesday on just 202 theatres, but managed to place eighth with $200,000. However, over the weekend it will probably miss the top ten with $1.5 million. That is close to what the original earned during its entire theatrical run. The film has also earned much better reviews, but considering the original earned 0% positive, that's not much of a selling point.

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Filed under: Sin City, Guess Who, Sahara, The Amityville Horror, Fever Pitch