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Box Office Doom

July 8th, 2005

The Fantastic Four battle Dr. Doom and invading aliens this weekend. But the real competition comes from last year when Spider-Man 2 took home $45 million during its second weekend of release. And while no film will top that figure, the combination of strong starts and healthy holdovers could stop The Slump, but I wouldn't bet on it.

The Fantastic Four will likely win the weekend box office race, but it will be closer than the studio would like. Part of the problem is the poor reviews; I never expected the film to be a critical darling like some other comic book adaptations, but I was certainly expecting better than 21% positive. Had the reviews hit the high 50s to low 60s, the film would have opened with almost $50 million, but lower reviews and weaker buzz has reduced that to $42.5 million, which should still be enough for a $100 million box office and an eventual profit.

Due to the fact that July 4th landed on a Sunday last year, there's a lot of difficulty comparing War of the Worlds's daily numbers to that of Spider-Man 2. The latter film lost 48.75% of its box office and if War of the Worlds did the same it would hit $33 million. But without sequelitis it should do slightly better and finish with $35 million.

Dark Water had the potential to be a $100 million movie like The Grudge and The Ring. But it needed strong buzz and great reviews to do that and it is earning neither. Early reviews were great, but they have since slipped below 50% and that is a bad sign. It could still surprise, but the chances of that are slim, so look for $15 million for the weekend and $45 million overall.

Batman Begins will dip below the $10 million mark this weekend, but that doesn't mean its box office days are numbered. With an additional $9 million over the weekend the film will be closing in on both Hitch and Madagascar for second place on the 2005 charts. It probably won't get there before War of the Worlds does, but it could be close.

Another film climbing the charts is Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which just hit the top five for the year as it almost assuredly beat The Longest Yard yesterday. However, with just $6 million over the weekend, it won't last there long as War of the Worlds will top it before the weekend is over.

Sith Watch: 2005 - it will be the last weekend in the top ten for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith with $2.5 million. That will leave it just shy of The Passion of the Christ on the All Time Charts and it will top last year's surprise hit sometime midweek. Next of the Sith's hit list is the much talked about Spider-Man 2 at $373.5 million.

Also of note, The Island has a sneak peak this Saturday in more than 200 theatres in 18 states. Further details will follow shortly.

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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, The Island, Dark Water