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Not Quite a Heavenly Start

April 5th, 2004

April started like a lion, especially compared to last year. The week-to-week increase was an respectable 6.1% while the box office was up an stupendous 28.2% from last year. Year to date 2004 is now up 7% on 2003 with an excellent chance of earning an even bigger lead during the rest of the month since 2003 had a poor April.

It looks like all the optimism in the world couldn't help Hellboy to the heights I was expecting. And while $23.2 million was good enough for first place, it wasn't even director Guillermo Del Toro's best effort. Critically it was a similar result, 77% positive this was easily the best reviews film of the weekend but not the best of Del Toro's career.

With Hellboy under-performing, Walking Tall picked up a bit of the slack enabling it to finish in second place with $15.5 million. That's the lowest opening in Dwayne Johnson's career. The reviews are also the lowest for his career.

Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed finished within a rounding error of Friday's prediction. It's $14.8 million should help its overall box office, but not enough to catch up to its reported $90 million box office.

At just $13.9 million Home on the Range's debut is just not enough given its budget. And with reviews that are just mediocre there's very little bright spots ahead for this movie. If it performs well internationally and has a typically strong home market for a Disney release and it should eventually show a small profit.

A substantial increase in its theatre count and Palm Sunday didn't quite boast The Passion of the Christ's box office like some had thought. But with $10.6 million it was still the best week-to-week drop-off the film has seen. It will be interesting to see if it can climb Easter Weekend.

Although it missed the top five, The Prince and Me it's debut of $9.4 million was on par with Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, which had a similar target audience. Better reviews should translate into better legs, but with a more competitive time of year that's not a guarantee.

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Filed under: The Passion of the Christ, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Hellboy, Home on the Range, Walking Tall, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, The Prince & Me