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Foster Soars with Flightplan

September 26th, 2005

The weekend didn't go exactly as planned as the top two films finished in the opposite order to expectations, but the overall result was the same. The box office was up for the week by 16.4% and was up by an astounding 38.9% from last year. Since Labor Day, 2005 is up 15.6% over the same period last year with $332.7 million. Year-to-date, 2005 has brought in $6.36 billion in ticket sales, which is still behind 2004 but the gap has closed to 6.5%.

Flightplan finished at the top of tracking numbers, finishing in top spot with $24.6 million, one of the best September openings of all-time. Continuing the inevitable comparisons to The Forgotten, the film earned similar reviews, started out stronger and should have similar legs and top original expectations.

On the other hand, The Corpse Bride missed expectations despite amazing reviews and an incredible buzz. Its first week in wide release resulted in a second place finish with $19.1 million, but that wasn't as high as many people expected. Hopefully this will not result in lower than expected legs and the film can still show a profit early in its international run. This result does make me worried about Serenity's chances as it too is being fueled by heavy internet buzz, which is notoriously fickle when it comes to translating into ticket sales.

Just Like Heaven beat expectations by a small margin with $9.6 million over the weekend and now has nearly $30 million during its first 10 days. It will still need a strong international showing just to show a profit during its initial push into the home market, but it could have been much worse.

The final wide release of the weekend was Roll Bounce, which just missed expectations with $7.6 million. Reviews were much better than expected and the word-of-mouth could be strong enough for the film to become a low-level hit and profitability should come during the home market.

Lastly there's The Exorcism of Emily Rose with $7.4 million, about half as much as it earned last weekend. Given this pattern, this film should finish with just shy of $75 million, which is just shy of what it needs to show a profit domestically.

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Filed under: Flightplan, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Corpse Bride, Just Like Heaven, Roll Bounce