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Anger Management makes Theatre Owners Very Happy

April 14th, 2003


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Anger Management broke the record for largest April opening, and it helped the Box Office to break out of its slump. Not only was the Box Office higher than last week, but for the first time in 4 weeks it was higher than the same weekend in 2002. But before studios and theatre owners celebrate, week 15 was a slow week in an otherwise strong spring in 2002. But in 2003, week 15 looks more like a small bright spot in a weak year.

As previously noted, Anger Management broke the April opening record with $42.2 million, about $3 million less than initial studio estimates; this is also personal records for both the stars. However, that’s where the good news ends. After getting great early reviews, the final tally for Anger Management was lass than 50%, and the CinemaScores were even worse. The target audience did give the film an A-, but it quickly dropped off from there bottoming out with a D+ from woman aged 35 and older. All this suggests this movie will be a pump and dump losing more than 50% next weekend.

The second largest opening was for House of 100 Corpses. This movie did much better than was expected on Friday, opening in fourth place. However, it lost more than 13% by Saturday. Box office drops from Friday to Saturday are rare to begin with, but a double-digit drop is almost unheard of. In the end it could only hang on to 7th place. Better than many expected, but don’t expect much more during the rest of its run.

The rest of the top five positions were held by last week’s holdovers, with Phone Booth taking second spot with $7.6 million. That drop-off was just shy of 50%. Still, the studio’s take of the box office is enough to cover the $13 million production budget, so Fox should be quite happy.

What a Girl Wants came in third with $6.2 million, an unexpectedly large 45% drop from last week. High CinemaScores and a younger target audience suggested this movie should have better legs than this. However large the drop was, it was the best in the top five, and only Chicago had a better week to week record in the top ten.

In fourth place, up a place from last week, is Bringing Down the House with $4.5 million. What more can be said about this movie? Already the highest grossing film of 2003, it continues to be one of the few bright spots in a soft year.

In fifth with a larger than expected drop-off was A Man Apart. Losing almost 60% of what was already a weaker than expected opening weekend, A Man Apart shows that Vin Diesel isn’t the superstar some were calling him. At least not yet.

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Filed under: Chicago, Anger Management, Bringing Down the House, Phone Booth, What a Girl Wants, A Man Apart, House of 1,000 Corpses