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Boy, oh Boy!

April 2nd, 2004

April starts out like a lion as four movies open wide, two of them are opening mega-wide, (theatre counts over 3000.) And with the box office humming along at double digit increases from last year we could see records broken this week.

While Hellboy is a comic book movie it isn't well known enough for that to either help or hurt it's chances at the box office. What is going to help it is its reviews; at 73% positive this film has the best reviews of any film to open mega-wide this year. April is not the best time of year to release a movie. Just a couple of years ago the best April opening was less than $30 million, and the best total box office for a movie released in April was just over $100 million. But last year both records were broken by Anger Management. And I think Hellboy has the best shot at breaking those records this year. Look for $40 million this weekend, although it has an outside shot at $45 million or more. It should also have enough legs to hit $150 million at the box office.

Poor reviews and the sequel effect will cut Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed's box office in half. Just $14 million puts it on track for a total box office of about half of the original's, which is worse than it sounds since the sequel is thought to have cost more to produce.

Home on the Range will further prove the future of animation lies with CGI, at least for now. This film has a similar release as Brother Bear, both in terms of theatre count and reviews, but won't earn as much in three days as Brother Bear did in two. It should open with $13 million and finish with under $60 million, less than half its total budget of $120 million.

The start Dwayne Johnson's acting career has been rocky, (pardon the pun) and it appears to be in a downward spiral. At first I though it had bottomed out with The Rundown, but reviews for this film were not as strong as I thought they were be; and that's going to hurt its word-of-mouth. An opening of just $12 million appears to be in the future, but if Hellboy under-performs, this film will pick up the slack.

Rounding out the top five will be The Passion of the Christ with $10 million. An increased theatre count and Palm Sunday will help reduce declines, but it won't be enough to show an increase at the box office like some are predicting.

Just missing the top five will be The Prince and Me, although it might surprise and finish a place or two higher. Reviews are weak and the demographic has been over-marketed too in recent times. However, you can never really count these movies out, so I wouldn't be very surprised if it made $10 million or more this weekend.

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Filed under: The Passion of the Christ, Anger Management, Brother Bear, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Hellboy, Home on the Range, The Rundown, Walking Tall, The Prince & Me