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Box Office Falls Flat

September 20th, 2004

None of the new films could live up to expectations, but the holdovers held up better than expected, especially as you went farther down the list. This helped the box office remain relatively flat from last weekend, down just 1.3% from last weekend, hardly worth noting. The yearly comparison is not as bright with 2004 down more than 25% from the same weekend last year. With the Fall box office stumbling, 2004's lead over 2003 is shrinking. As of last weekend this year is ahead $6.712 billion to $6.450 billion, just 4% ahead.

Despite earning better than expected reviews, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow couldn't live up to expectations taking in $15.6 million. It will need better than average legs just to match the original prediction. On the other hand, had it kept its prime summer release date, it should have earned more than double that.

Mr. 3000 was a swing and a miss at the box office. OK, maybe it wasn't that bad. Call it a foul ball. An opening weekend of $8.7 million is not great, reviews were just average, and the internal multiplier was 3, which is not bad given the average so far this year, but not good enough to suggest strong legs.

Expectations for sequels are so low that seeing Resident Evil: Apocalypse drop just 62.5% to $8.7 million is a bit of a surprise. Its total box office looks to come up well short of its combined budget, so it will have to rely on better expected international and initial home market numbers to show a profit anytime soon.

Tennis is not a big sport in the states. Outside the sex appeal of certain female players, most people don't pay attention to the sport. So it's little surprise that Wimbledon didn't connect with an audience earning just $7.1 million. Mixed reviews didn't help, but they didn't hurt the film that much either. The film opens in the U.K. next week and hopefully it will do better there.

Cellular's second weekend drop-off was a miniscule 33%. However, with just $6.8 million in 2750 theatres, its per theatre average is too low for any expansion, but it should lose theatre at a slower than average rate.

Napoleon Dynamite jumped up a couple places to 8th with $2.3 million at the box office. Its total box office now sits at $33 million, not bad for a film that cost just $400 thousand to make.

Wow. National Lampoon's Gold Diggers opened to unanimously negative reviews in just 1062 theatres and managed one of the worst openings I have ever seen. By taking in just $392,000, its per theatre average was a mere $369. With an average ticket price is about $6.50 each theatre sold just 57 tickets to this film over the weekend. 10 showings per weekend gives us an average of less than 6 people per screening. That's like having your own private showing. In the end National Lampoon's Gold Diggers made Marci X look like The Big Bounce.


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Filed under: Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Napoleon Dynamite, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Cellular, Mr. 3000, Wimbledon, National Lampoon's Gold Diggers