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Chicken Not So Little

November 7th, 2005

Both new releases beat expectations, as did every single holdover in the top five, and that led to a serious increase in total box office of 31.5% from last weekend. However, this time last year saw a 43.8% increase, meaning the year-to-year comparison with 2004 was 6.8% down. So far, the Fall season box office has been nearly keeping up with 2004, at $1.118 billion to $1.122 billion, but year-to-date 2005 is 6.4% behind with $7.153 billion.

Chicken Little easily beat expectations, and all competition alike with $40.1 million, which is the second best opening for a Disney produced animated movie, behind only The Lion King (if you ignore the one week prestige opening). However, that is well behind The Incredibles' debut last year, and with much weaker reviews, there's little hope for the legs needed to make up the difference. Hopefully this will be enough to get Disney and Pixar negotiating again.

While Jarhead might not be earning the critical praise needed to be a major player come Oscar time, it earned $27.7 million at the box office, which is more than most analysts were expecting. (On a side note, I think it can pick up some nominations, especially for sound and sound editing.) If it can find some traction, $100 million isn't out of the question, but it will likely miss that milestone. Even so, it could turn a profit as early as its initial push into the home market, as long as it has a reasonable international run.

Again, Saw II beat expectations with $16.9 million, down just 47% from its opening. Even more impressive, that $16.7 million would be more than enough to pay for the film's production budget and put a serious dent in the P & A budget as well.

The Legend of Zorro also beat expectations, but by a narrower margin. The sequel added $10.0 million to its $30.3 million box office, but that is not nearly enough given its $80 million production budget.

It was Prime that grabbed the final spot in the top five and not Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, although both beat expectations, earning $5.1 million and $4.8 million respectively. Both films are showing stronger legs than most, but they will need to wait until the home market before they show a profit.

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Filed under: Chicken Little, Saw II, Jarhead, The Legend of Zorro, Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, Prime