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Sith Should Have Memorable Weekend

May 27th, 2005

Ah, Memorial Day Long Weekend, the busiest weekend at the movies in the whole year. Last year nearly a quarter of a billion dollars were spent on tickets during the four days and its economic impact is even greater. More than 30 million people will check out a movie this weekend, and each and every one of those will be inundated by ads for upcoming movies, trailers, posters, standees, ads on the popcorn bucket, ads on the drinks, etc. All that advertising will be a huge boost to upcoming films and will undoubtedly help jumpstart the summer.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith should retain top spot on the charts this weekend thanks in part to a rabid fanbase and more importantly, much better reviews than the previous prequels. Low ball estimate for the weekend would be $70 million ($57 million for the three-day weekend plus $13 million on Monday), with a high end being $80 million ($64 million / $16 million). The closer it gets to $80 million the better shot it has of breaking the record for Fastest to $300 million, but even $70 million will give it a chance.

The first of two wide releases this weekend is The Longest Yard, a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. This version stars Adam Sandler, and it's reviews are at the same level of the typical Adam Sandler flick and nowhere near the same level as the original. This film should become Adam Sandler's best opening film, topping Anger Management with $47 million over the three day weekend and $59 million overall, but could end up just short of Big Daddy as the best of his career.

A digitally animated film that's not expected to dominate the charts? It's been a long time since that's happened, but the buzz surrounding Madagascar isn't particularly strong. Reviews have been weak for the genre barely able to stay about 50% all week. And while younger kids should be entertained, it won't have the adult appeal that separates the blockbusters from the monster hits. Look for $40 million during the first three days plus $14 million on Monday.

The only other film to hit $10 million during the weekend (even factoring in Monday), will be Monster-In-Law with $9 million / $11.5 million. And next up is Kicking and Screaming, which should bring in $5 million / $7 million.

Also of interest, Cinderella Man is having a sneak peak on Sunday on 750 screens.

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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, Madagascar, The Longest Yard, Monster-in-Law, Cinderella Man, Kicking and Screaming