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Bruce Mightier Than the Matrix

May 27th, 2003

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Memorial Day Weekend had more than a few surprises this year as records were broken, but not by the movie most people expected to break them. Overall, the box office was in a dead heat with last year's with only a 1% increase. But it was an increase, which is better news than most weeks this year.

Setting records for largest Memorial Day Weekend and largest non-sequel comedy among others was Bruce Almighty. With a box office of $85.7 million over four days it destroyed the competition and nearly doubled most predictions. Even with reviews that are just average, this movie should have more than enough legs to make a profit domestically.

In second with a huge drop was Matrix Reloaded. My prediction on Friday of $55 million was one of the lowest, and it still wasn’t low enough. $45.6 million over four days was a 50% drop, and its three-day total was nearly 60% lower. After the first weekend, Matrix Reloaded had a $24 million lead on Attack of the Clones, now that lead has been cut to $9 million. For a film that just last week, people were predicting $400 million, Matrix Reloaded might struggle to cross $300 million. This is one of the sharpest and most unexpected drops in recent memory. Still, Matrix Reloaded did top the original’s box office in only 9 days, and became the year’s biggest hit the next day. So there are some bright spots.

Still topping expectations was Daddy Day Care. $18.1 million over four days was barely a noticeable drop from last week. But with a hefty $90 million production and advertising budget, Daddy Day Care will still have to wait till the home market to make a profit.

Recovering nicely from early drops was X-Men 2, sitting in fourth place. A better than average drop-off allowed the mutant movie to edge closer to the $200 million mark, a milestone it should cross next weekend. Combined with the overseas numbers, X-Men 2 has already made the studio a profit.

Earning less than most analysts predicted was the remake The In-Laws. $9.2 million was only good enough for fifth place and the reviews were on the weak side and competition is just too great for this movie to have the legs needed to make the studio happy. This is the second disappointing film for Michael Douglas in as many months, and Albert Brooks has another movie being released next week. But it’s almost a guarantee that Finding Nemo will be a success.

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