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Will the Pirates Keel Haul the Competition?

July 11th, 2003

2003 is shaping up to be a disappointing year at the box office. What is needed is a surprise hit to get people back into the theatres. And this weekend could give us that hit. This weekend could also give us the biggest bomb of the year.

After solidly beating predictions on Wednesday and maintaining strong numbers on Thursday, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl will easily finish first and do better than first predicted. On the negative side, since I published my predictions on Wednesday, its reviews have dropped from a high of 87% positive to 79%. This is still above all but a handful of movies this year. Again, I have a hard time believing Pirates of the Caribbean will beat Terminator 3. In its first two days, Pirates of the Caribbean has made just under $24 million. In its first two days, (not counting Tuesday's preview) T3 made just over $24 million. However, T3's Thursday numbers were helped out by the July 4th Holiday. Then again, Pirates of the Caribbean won't have a holiday to help it's weekend numbers. All in all, $42 million is the target for the movie this weekend, but good word of mouth could propel it past T3 and closer to $50 million.

In a summer of huge opening and fast drops, Terminator 3 hopes to buck that trend. However, its mid-week numbers have not been as strong as they needed to be. It is looking like it will lose nearly exactly 50%, dropping to $22 million. The saddest thing about it, is in this day and age that could be considered a strong performance.

Third place is another sequel, Legally blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, which is holding up better than T3. Thursday's box office was only 25% below T3. $14 million in its second week is a little better drop-off than the original's and could lead to a higher total box office.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has unmitigated disaster written all over it. Which is terrible to see, cause the Comic series it was loosely based on is excellent indeed. Changes were made to, 'improve marketability' and to satisfy star's egos and what you have left is, simply put, a mess. Unlike Pirates of the Caribbean, which was one of the best reviews movies of the year, The League is getting some of the worst. They are currently at only 18%, and much lower for the Cream of the Crop. This could be a disaster of The Avengers proportions. $10 million this week, $3 to $4 million next week, out of the top ten the week after.

Rounding out the top five is Finding Nemo. So far, every week Finding Nemo has hit some milestone, beat some record, etc. This week it's passing Home Alone into 17th place on the All-Time chart. Ok, it's not much, but it’s something. $8 million at the box office, and barring a complete collapse by either Legally Blonde 2 or the newcomer Johnny English, it will be it's last appearance in the top five. Seven weeks in the top five is very impression for the New Marketplace. (More on the New Marketplace later.)

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Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde