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Will Arnnie Terminate July 4th Records?

July 4th, 2003

Now that we have Wednesday’s and Thursday’s numbers, this situation this weekend is much clearer. And all three of the new movies have had their estimates reduced.

Coming in first this weekend will be Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but not with the numbers the studio was hoping for. $12.4 on Wednesday was significantly below initial predictions. It was also below current July 4th record holder, Men in Black II. However, Terminator 3’s Wednesday to Thursday drop-off was much better, (just 4.43% compared to 11.32%) and Terminator 3’s reviews are also much better, (71% to 38%.) Terminator could come from behind to earn the $52.2 million needed take the record, but it will be very close.

In comparison, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde beat estimates, albeit by just $147 thousand, but then dropped farther on Thursday than expected. With the two factors almost balancing each other out, it should fall just shy of the original prediction with $27 million.

The first of the holdovers, coming in third will be Charlie’s Angels 2. Given the sequel effect, recent history and poor word of mouth, this movie is almost guaranteed to lose more than 50% this weekend. And with direct competition in both the action genre and the female demographic, this movie will lose much more. We’re not talking a Hulk like collapse, but $15 million is still a big drop.

In a summer dominated by huge drop-offs, Finding Nemo has been one of the few exceptions. It continues to do strongly and is set for $10 million in its sixth weekend of release. That will not only give it top spot for computer animated movies, it should also give it the overall lead for 2003, passing The Matrix Reloaded.

Rounding out the top five is The Hulk, which is continuing its downward spiral. Granted, this week it will only drop a little more than 50% to $8 million, not the 70% drop that happened last weekend. Even with this decline, there still is talk of a sequel. (Although a sequel would probably do much better. After all, the first Hulk comic book series was cancelled after 6 issues.)

Doing much worse than analysts predictions was Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, which managed only $1.5 million on Wednesday. It did improve on Thursday, but not enough to get much more than half the original prediction of $14 million. Traditional cell animation was in trouble before this, and since Sinbad will only get a little more than $10 million after Sunday, studios could drastically cut back on future productions.

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Filed under: The Matrix Reloaded, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Hulk, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas