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August 22nd, 2005

It was another mixed weekend at the box office as the overall box office was down, again. However, the margin was very close dipping just 5.0% from last weekend and 3.4% from last year. That helped lift the year-to-date comparison with 2005 behind 2004's pace by 7.4% at $5.722 billion while the summer session is off by 9.4% at $3.221 billion. You know you've lowered your standards when losing by a small margin is considered a victory.

As of right now, The 40 Year-Old Virgin is the best reviewed wide release of the year. (There are a couple of films that started out as a limited release but expanded wide, March of the Penguins, for instance. The best reviewed release overall is Murderball.) However great its reviews are, its opening weekend wouldn't even rank in the top twenty for the year. Still, $21.4 million is a good start and hopefully it will generate excellent word-of-mouth and have strong, strong legs. The film deserves to been seen while the box office needs more hits.

Red Eye didn't quite live up to expectations over the weekend finishing with $16.2 million, which is almost as much as Wes Craven's previous release earned in total. With better than expected reviews, it should be able to last in theatres long enough to cover its production budget and show a profit during its home market run.

Four Brothers managed to beat expectations by a small margin earning $12.5 million over the weekend. That's a drop-off of just more than 40% and with a total box office sitting at $43.1 million so far, it's almost covered its production budget in just two weeks.

Next up was The Wedding Crashers, the film that just won't go away, which is great since the box office needs films with legs like this. This weekend it added almost exactly $8 million to its running tally of $177.6 million and will easily hit $200 million before long.

Rounding out the top five was The Skeleton Key, which snagged the spot not because it held up much better than expected but because the competition didn't open as strongly as predicted. Falling just over 50% to $7.7 million is not great, but assuming the film can repeat this modest success internationally it will start making the studio money by its initial push into the home market.

It's hard to be positive about Valiant's performance over the past three days. Opening with just $5.9 million is bad enough but the bad reviews and small internal multiplier (for a kids movie) suggest bad legs and a sub-$20 million finish. The only good news, it was cheap to make compared to most CGI films.

Lastly we have Supercross: The Movie, of which the less said the better. It managed 15th place with just $1.3 million over the weekend and $2.0 million since Wednesday. It is still earning some of the worst reviews of the year and will probably disappear from theatres by the end of next week.

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Filed under: The Wedding Crashers, The 40 Year-old Virgin, Four Brothers, Red Eye, The Skeleton Key, Valiant, Supercross