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Can the Matrix Remain Mighty?

May 23rd, 2003

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Memorial Day Weekend is typically the busiest weekend of the year, and this year it is shaping up to be the same with two movies battling for top spot. However, last years records are probably safe.

In first place will be Matrix Reloaded, but it might not break Attack of the Clones’ Memorial Day Weekend record. Matrix Reloaded started out 33% above Attack of the Clones, but had a larger drop on Friday, smaller increase Saturday, etc. In fact, only once in the first week did the Matrix Reloaded’s day to day change beat Attack of the Clones’ performance, and by Wednesday it fell behind in daily box office. Combined with the increased competition from new releases this year compared to last and I predict Matrix Reloaded will drop just shy of 40% and make $55 million.

Bruce Almighty is the first of the new openers this weekend and it could open with personal bests for all three stars. Granted for Jennifer Aniston that’s not a hard feat as her previous best was $9.7 with The Object of My Affection. Reviews for Bruce Almighty are not great, but are on par with Me, Myself and Irene, but far behind Liar, Liar. However, there is enough positive buzz to overcome those reviews, for at least one weekend. Look for a $50 million opening weekend, but with an uncertain longevity.

After a smaller than expected second week drop Daddy Day Care was able to add theatres pushing its theatre count to nearly 3500. With the long weekend, expect an even smaller drop-off this time. It’s tracking just 10% behind last week’s number so a box office of $17 million is a pretty save bet.

The second of the new releases is The In-Laws, a remake of the 1979 movie of the same name. This time around it’s stars Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks. Neither star has had a lot of box office success lately; and this movie will neither be a box office smash, nor will it be a failure. Reviews are currently exactly the same as Bruce Almighty, but The In-Laws has an older target audience so look for a $12 million opening and better legs. On a side note, next week another Albert Brooks' movie opens wide, the computer animated fish tale Finding Nemo.

Dropping to fifth place will be X-Men 2. Earlier in the week, the mutant movie was tracking more than 50% below the previous week’s. But a late week recovery plus the long weekend it could help it avoid dropping below $10 million, but that’s not a sure thing.

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Filed under: The Matrix Reloaded, X2, Daddy Day Care, The In-Laws