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Box Office Doom

October 24th, 2005

The box office wasn't knee deep in doom, it was more like ankle deep in Doom. With almost every film missing expectations, there was another steep decline at the box office this weekend, at least on the year-to-year comparison. Week-to-week the box office was up just 0.7%, but it was down 16.5% from last year. Year-to-date, 2005 has now brought $6.957 billion, which is about 8% lower than this time last year.

While Doom easily won the box office race, it was a phyrric victory at best as the $60 million movie earned just $15.5 million in just over 3,000 theatres. With really bad reviews and the Fanboy effect, the film will likely get hammered next weekend and be out of theatres by mid-November. As for the contest, we have to go through all the eligible entries and figure out the winner, which will be announced tomorrow. Stay tuned!

The only film to truly beat expectations was Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, which came in second place with $9.2 million. Even with a production budget that was lower than previously believed, ($30 - $35 million) it will still have a very hard time showing a profit, even with reviews that are better than average for a wide release.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit continues to attract fans, adding $8.6 million to its nearly $44 million run so far. The film needs about $30 million more in worldwide ticket sales to show a profit, which is all but academic at this point.

Out of the three films that opened wide last week, I would not have picked The Fog to have the leggiest run. But it fell just 43.3% this weekend and earned $6.7 million in the process. That gives the film $21 million after just 10 days, which is better than its production budget. If it has a reasonable international run, it should show a profit by the initial push into the home market.

North Country failed to live up to expectations at the box office with just $6.4 million. It did much better with the critics with a Tomatoemeter reading of 72% positive. That should give it better than average legs, but it won't become the darling of the Oscars either. Perhaps when the Nominations are announced the studio will give it a push and it can still meet initital expectations, but that seems unlikely at this point.

The final wide release of the weekend was Stay, which failed to reach the top ten, pulling in just $2.2 million. Reviews suggest a steep drop-off next weekend and the weekend after than it could see a four-digit drop in its theatre count.

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Filed under: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, The Fog, Doom, North Country, Stay