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With Great Expectations Comes Great Disappointment

July 7th, 2004

Most analysts were expecting Spider-man 2 to crush many records; that didn't work out. In fact, none of the films met expectations over the weekend. Fortunately, while reality couldn't keep up with expectations, it was still enough to post big increases both from last weekend (11.4%) and last year (21.5%.) However, the increase from last year is a bit misleading as July 4th fell on the Friday, which has historically hurt the box office.

Spider-man 2 couldn't maintain the momentum any only managed $88.2 million over the 3-day weekend and $115.8 over the 4-day weekend and $180.1 million . Now you must understand, 'only' here is in the context of an expected $115 million / $150 million, or more, weekend. An $88.3 million weekend is incredible and $152.4 million over the first five days and $180.1 million over 6 days are both records; it's just not up to expectations. Also worth noting, Fastest to $200 million is still well within reach as it needs just $20 million in 3 days to tie the previous record holder. And this film will still show a profit before the domestic run is over so it's a successful disappointment. Ahhh, the curse of great expectations strikes again.

Even with the nearly doubling of its theatre count, Fahrenheit 9/11 couldn't keep up its amazing pace taking in just $16.3 million over the three day weekend and $22.0 million over the 4-day weekend. This is another case of 'only' being in comparison to high expectations. The film is already bigger than most people expected and should continue to do well for several more weeks to come.

Surprisingly, White Chicks had an easier time taking 3rd place than I had expected, but it didn't quite manage the same box office. $8.7 million / $11.5 million is still good considering its low production budget.

There was a very close, three-way battle for fourth place. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story dropped faster than anticipated, landing at just $8.1 million / $11.4 million. This film has already earned a profit and should cross $100 million before long.

Fifth place goes to The Terminal with $7.9 million / $10.8 million. This film is holding up very well, but not enough for it to cross $100 million.

While The Notebook just missed out with $7.4 million / $10.4 million. And with that, the box office has topped its production budget, but it sill have a ways to go before it makes a profit.

Shrek Watch 2004 update, after earning $5.8 million / $8.4 million over the weekend the film's domestic take hit $410.7 million. That's more than enough to surpass Spider-Man for fifth on the All-Time Charts. Considering its weekly take, it will be a while before the film overtakes Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, if it can do it at all. Should the film come close, I wouldn't be surprised if the studio tries to push the film over the top.


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Filed under: Shrek 2, Spider-Man 2, Fahrenheit 9/11, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Notebook, The Terminal, White Chicks