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Box Office gets some Brotherly Love

August 15th, 2005

Practically every new film beat expectations this weekend, albeit by a narrow margin in some cases. And even with the holdovers slipping slightly faster there was a week-to-week increase of 5.1% at the box office. On the other hand, the weekend of $120 million was 12.7% lower than last year. The year-to-date comparison has 2005 at $5.551 billion, 8% lower than 2004, while the summer box office has a running tally of $3.05 billion down by 9.7% from last year.

As expected, Four Brothers won the box office race, but its $21.2 million opening was much higher than expected. The reason for this has to do with demographics as more than half the audience was female. A lot of analysts are stuck asking why, but a good movie about four brothers with strong family ties should appeal to women. Also, I've been informed that the four leads are all hotties. Where will the film go from here? It has a strong enough per theatre average and a low enough theatre count that a small expansion might happen next weekend, and that could mitigate the sophomore session drop-off. And with production budget at just $30 million by most reports, it should start to show a profit during its initial push into the home market.

Skeleton Key might be the biggest surprise of the weekend as it not only beat expectation in terms of raw dollars $16.1 million to $11 million, but it finished two places higher than expected in second place. Weakish reviews and a surprise twist that will surprise very few people will likely hurt the film's legs, but it should still match its production budget domestically, which is a good indicator that it will see a profit, eventually.

The Dukes of Hazzard's drop-off was closer to 60% than expected leaving the film with just $13.0 million this weekend. Even so, the film is well on its way to profitability and it won't be long before a sequel is in the works.

For the first time in its run, The Wedding Crashers didn't beat expectations. It's $11.8 million during its fifth weekend of release was still amazing and puts it ahead of The Longest Yard and into eighth place on the yearly charts.

The only new release to miss expectations was Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, which finished the weekend with $9.6 million. Amazingly its reviews improved over the weekend and it is now sitting at 9% positive. Look for fast drop-offs and a mercifully short theatrical run.

March of the Penguins beat expectations, again, by adding $6.8 million to its $37.7 million box office. That puts it ahead of The Island on the yearly charts.

The Great Raid beat greatly lowered expectations with $3.4 million over the weekend, but for a film that may have cost as much as $80 million to get to theatres there's little to celebrate with this result.

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Filed under: The Wedding Crashers, The Dukes of Hazzard, La marche de l'empereur, Four Brothers, The Skeleton Key, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, The Great Raid