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Speak of the Devil

September 12th, 2005

The fall box office season got off to a fast start over the weekend thanks almost entirely to one movie. The surprisingly fast start of the box office champ helped the overall box office climb by 8.7% from last year. (Although it was down by 7.3% from last weekend, but that's better than one would expect from a post-holiday weekend.) Continuing the yearly comparison, 2005 is still behind 2004, but the margin was narrowed to 7.2% with $6.129 billion so far.

Tracking had The Exorcism of Emily Rose earning between $12 million and $15 million over the weekend, so it came as quite a shock when the film earned $11.3 million on Friday alone. Over the whole weekend the film pulled in $30.1 million and easily won the box office race, becoming the third best September opening of all time. Even with short legs that the weak reviews predict, the film will show a profit by the end of its domestic run.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin saw its worst week-to-week decline falling 42% to $7.7 million. Even so, the film should hit $100 million, or come close enough that the studio should give it a push to get over that milestone.

Next up was The Transporter 2, which matched expectations nearly perfectly with $7.4 million. It took the film just 8 days to match the box office the original earned during its entire run. And at this pace there's little doubt the franchise will become a trilogy.

The Constant Gardener fell a little further that expected, but its weekend haul of $4.7 million is close enough to Friday's prediction. If the film can become a player during award season, and the DVD release is timed right, then the film should show a profit during the initial push into the home market.

Red Eye was a surprise entry in the top five, but not because its $4.5 million box office was really great, but because the competition was really poor.

And speaking of poor competition, The Man wasn't able to live up to lowered expectations earning just $4.0 million in 2,040 theatres. Add in awful reviews and this film will be gone from movie houses before the month is over. The only positive aspect: the film didn't cost that much to make.

One last note, The Wedding Crashers became just the fifth film to cross $200 million at the box office this year. I don't think anyone thought this would happen when the film opened back in July.

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Filed under: The Wedding Crashers, The 40 Year-old Virgin, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Red Eye, The Transporter 2, The Constant Gardener, The Man