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Box Office Runs Out of Gas

September 29th, 2003

After two weeks of increases at the box office, the box office stumbled this week. And while two of the three new movie beat expectations, the overall box office dropped by 11.8% from last week and 9.1% from last year.

No one was predicting The Rundown would break the record for biggest September weekend, but some predictions had it coming close. However, in the end its $18.6 million was barely half what Sweet Home Alabama made last year. Even with good reviews and few blockbusters as competition, The Rundown won't have the legs needed to save this movie from its $100+ million total budget.

Opening in the fewest theatres of the three wide releases didn't hurt Under the Tuscan Sun, which earned $9.8 million, almost $2 million more than predicted. Reviews were mixed with most of the praise going to Diane Lane rather than the film itself. Look for an expanded release next weekend with lots of legs at the box office.

Underworld dropped just a little more than predicted finishing with $9.4 million this weekend. Its box office is just one weekend away from topping its total production cost of $45 million.

Buoyed by the trailer for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Secondhand Lions made $8.3 million this weekend. How much of that was due to the trailer will be known by its performance next weekend.

Finishing out the top five was The Fighting Temptations with $6.4 million. That's a larger second week drop-off than expected and doesn't bode well for the film's legs.

The last new release for the week, Duplex, actually did a fraction better than expected. But $4.6 million will still be looked upon as a disappointment regardless of expectations. Even more bad news, reviews weakened over the weekend from 41% positive to 33%.

Lost in Translation did stay in the top ten for the second week in a row. However, its per theatre average was not the best in the top ten, as expected. That honor went to Under the Tuscan Sun.


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Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Underworld, The Rundown, Lost in Translation, Under the Tuscan Sun, Secondhand Lions, The Fighting Temptations, Duplex