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New Movies Exceed Expectations, Holdovers Falter

August 12th, 2003

Both new films beat Friday's predictions, but the holdovers all fell faster than expected. This mixed result led the box office down 3.4% from last week and 2.3% from last year.

S.W.A.T. not only finished first, but did so with a much higher box office than predicted. An opening weekend of $37.1 million is pretty good for a movie budgeted at $70 million. However, weak reviews will probably mean its legs will be cut short. Still, if it does similar business internationally it should make a profit before it hits the home market.

Even after upping my prediction for Freaky Friday last Friday, it wasn't enough. The Disney remake earned an impressive $22.2 million on a production budget of just $26 million. (Although P&A budget could be more than the production budget.) Garnering some of the best reviews this summer, which was a bit of a surprise, and given its family friendly nature, this movie could have serious legs.

Dropping more than expected, but better than average was the last in the American Pie trilogy, American Wedding. Earning $15.5 million in its second weekend will make getting $100 million a little harder to come by, but still within reach.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl earned another $13.0 million this weekend, but probably won't overtake Bruce Almighty till next weekend, and not mid-week like I predicted.

Seabiscuit dropped a little more than expected, down to $12 million. With a total box office of nearly $70 million, breaking the $100 million mark could be possible, but it will have to show some serious legs to get there.

Barring a complete collapse of two of next week's four new openings Finding Nemo has spent it's last week in the top 10. And while it earned $2.5 million last weekend it is still a couple of weeks before it beats Forest Gump into 8th place.

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Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Seabiscuit, S.W.A.T., Freaky Friday, American Wedding