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El Mariachi, El Número Uno

September 16th, 2003

After last week's disastrous performance, this week we have three movies that can all be described as a success to one degree or another. This led to a huge increase of 28% from last weekend, and a more modest increase of 2.6% from last year, all of which can be explained with increased ticket prices.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico cost just $30 million to make, half the average cost of a Hollywood movie but more than four times the combines production budgets of the first two movies in the El Mariachi trilogy. So it would be difficult for it to be as profitable at the box office. However, in just one weekend Once Upon a Time in Mexico earned nearly as much as the first two movies earned in their entire run. $23.4 million compared to $27.5 million. With solid reviews it will easily pay for its production costs domestically, and make a profit internationally.

Almost perfectly matching predictions was Matchstick Men with $13.1 million. With a stronger internal multiplier than the other movies opening this week, and stronger reviews, Matchstick Men should have better legs at the box office as well. This could lead to a final tally near or even north of $50 million.

Also performing close to expectations was Cabin Fever, which made $8.6 million during its opening weekend. Reviews started out strong, but as the weekend went on they started to drop, however, they managed to hold on to the 60% positive needed for an overall positive result. It will be interesting to see how it performs over the coming weeks, but it is safe to say the studio is already impressed.

So far, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star has had an interesting run. It started with an opening weekend win, albeit by the narrowest of margins, but then dropped to seventh place by Tuesday before finishing the week in sixth place. Normally, this will spell doom for a movie's chances in its second weekend. However, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star climbed nearly 400% from Thursday to Friday and lost less than 25% in its second weekend with $5.0 million. Now I don't have the demographics for this movie, but the numbers suggest the average movie goer seeing Dickie Roberts is going to identify less with David Spade, and more with his adoptive brother and sister. Such a young audience is surprising but could be the saving grace for the movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl did make $4.5 million at the box office, more than predicted, but finished one spot lower in fifth place. It is now in 18th on the All Time chart and should make it to 17th place after next weekend, overtaking The Empire Strikes Back.

Freaky Friday may not have made it into the top five, but it did earn $4 million this weekend to break the $100 million barrier. A very surprising result, especially when compared to its budget.

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Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Freaky Friday, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Matchstick Men, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Cabin Fever