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Team America Sleeps with the Fishes

October 18th, 2004

Unlike the summer, the fall has seen plenty of films hold up well in the face of new competition. This was the saving grace at the box office this week as neither new film made much of an impact. Even so, the overall box office dropped 9.3% from last week and a disturbing 14% from last year. Year to date 2004 is still maintaining its 4% lead over 2003, which is inline with ticket price increases.

For the first time since early March, a film has finished in first place for three weeks in a row. Shark Tale easily topped predictions with $22 million, putting its total to $118.7 million. It's the 15th film to cross $100 million this year and will make it into the top ten for the year sometime during the mid-week.

Friday Night Lights' $12.2 million was a little lower than expected, but it finished one place higher than predicted. That represents a 40% second weekend drop-off, which is better than average.

It wasn't the start the studio was hoping for as Team America: World Police could only manage $12.1 million and a third place finish. All the hype and the great reviews couldn’t help the film out-perform South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut's inflation adjusted opening. And to make matters worse, it is unlikely the film will have the same strong legs.

On the other hand, the second wide release this week, Shall We Dance?, easily beat expectations with $11.8 million. Weak reviews obviously didn't hurt the film as much as predicted and its per theatre average was the second best in the top ten. But with a production budget of $50 million, it is not enough.

Ladder 49 finished within a rounding error of expectations with $8.5 million.

The Motorcycle Diaries finished in the top ten for the second week in a row with $1.7 million. This film should be remembered when award season kicks into high gear.


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Filed under: Shark Tale, Ladder 49, Friday Night Lights, Shall We Dance?, Team America: World Police, The Motorcycle Diaries