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Smiths a Smash Hit, Box Office Still Slow

June 13th, 2005

Despite the number one film beating expectations by $10 million, the box office is still struggling. First the good news: the weekend numbers were 9.6% higher than last weekend. But more importantly they were 9.7% lower than the same weekend last year. Overall 2005 is 10.3% lower for the Summer at $1.121 billion, and 7.2% lower for the year at $3.621 billion. One bit of good news: should Batman Begins meet market expectations we should see the first weekend of yearly growth in almost four months.

Score one for the "there is no such thing as bad publicity" side. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, powered by media overexposure of its two stars overcame merely average reviews to win with $50.3 million over the weekend. Even with a $100 million production budget, the worst case scenario has this film showing a profit late in its international run or early in the home market.

The competition hit Madagascar a tiny bit harder than expected as it fell to $17.2 million, which is still well within the accepted margin of error. With $128.4 million so far the film has already beaten original expectations and should earn $30 million more.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith stuck around in third place with $14.9 million, slightly more than expected. The film is now the 13th highest grossing film of all time and should climb into the top ten before long. If its weekly drop-offs can mellow out the film could still reach $400 million, but that seems like a pipe dream now.

The Longest Yard slipped to fourth place with $13.9 million, and should start shedding theaters now. There's a lot of competition in the next couple of weeks and that will really hurt this film.

Rounding out the top five was The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D with $12.6 million. This is the weakest opening for a Robert Rodriguez film since The Faculty, but even so the film should have legs to match its production budget and earn a profit on the home market.

Had I not updated Friday's Predictions I could have looked like a genius. Nobody was expecting Cinderella Man to collapse so that it landed at $9.7 million, nearly 47% lower than its opening. Any chance of long legs is gone now and the film will need a strong international and home market showing to show a profit.

The Honeymooners showed just a little more appeal than predicted, finishing with $5.5 million for the weekend. However, with reviews that were simply awful it should have a short, short run at the box office.

Missing the top ten altogether was High Tension with a miniscule $1.9 million. The one plus side is the low, low cost of the film, which means the film is practically guaranteed a profit before it hits the home market.

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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, Madagascar, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Longest Yard, Cinderella Man, The Honeymooners, High Tension, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D