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Duking it Out

August 8th, 2005

The weekend unfolded almost exactly as predicted, and even though the number one film was the biggest opening at the box office since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory debuted, there was still a 6.5% drop-off from last weekend. On the other hand, compared to last year the box office was up by 1.6%. Year-to-date 2005 is still well back of 2004 by 7.5% at $5.369 billion and the summer session is faring even worse down 9.5% to $2.868 billion. However, there is hope the overall box office will start to recover from this point on.

The Dukes of Hazzard matched expectations nearly perfectly with $30.7 million, off by just a rounding error. However, the good news stops there as the reviews were atrocious and the internal multiplier was tiny at just 2.43, which suggests short, short legs. That means profitability will have to wait till the home market.

The unstoppable The Wedding Crashers returned to second place this weekend, but earned $16.0 million, which was at the very high end of expectations. Right now the film has $143.6 million and is the 10th highest grossing film of the year, and is bound to climb the charts, hitting $200 million before its run is over.

Also on its way to $200 million is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which added $11.0 million this weekend. While the film is a big hit, its big production budget won't be paid off before the domestic run is over. It might be covered as early as the middle of its international run, but it might have to wait until the home market.

Sky High matched expections perfectly over the weekend and there's not much more that needs to be said.

Must Love Dogs slipped a bit faster than expected and with just $7.4 million this weekend it won't match original expectations. But it should still reach profitability early during its home market run.

March of the Penguins beat expectations again this weekend, which is hardly surprising since it has been doing that for its entire run. Adding $7.1 million to its $26.4 million running tally puts the documentary ahead of high budget films like XXX: State of the Union on the yearly chart. It will be interesting to see how high it can climb in the coming weeks.

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Filed under: The Wedding Crashers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Dukes of Hazzard, La marche de l'empereur, Sky High, Must Love Dogs