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Will Kill Bill Thrill?

October 13th, 2003

Four movies are opening this weekend, but only two of them have a serious shot at top place. The other two will be fighting for the scraps and a place in the top five.

Note: This is how the story was written on Wednesday. I was planning on revising my estimates on Friday before publishing it. However, that was not to be, so here present the unrevised story with the weekend wrap up to follow shortly.

Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino opens this week in over 3000 theatres. The fourth film directed by Quentin Tarantino, or fifth if you count Quentin Tarantino's segment in Four Rooms, or sixth if you count My Best Friend's Birthday, which Quentin Tarantino directed but was partially destroyed before it was ever shown. It’s a testament to Quentin Tarantino's work that Miramax is using his name so prominently in its advertising campaign. The biggest question mark is how the public will react to the decision to split the movie into two parts. Either the shortened length will make for a more enjoyable movie going experience, or there will be a backlash for being asked to pay twice for one movie. Reviews are the weakest for any of Quentin Tarantino's previous full-length movies, but it is also the widest by far. Look for about $21 million opening weekend.

After major hits in 2000 and 2001, George Clooney stumbled with Solaris and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Look for him to rebound with Intolerable Cruelty, which should make more in its opening weekend than either of the above films did in their total run. Granted, this will not be due to George Clooney alone as Catherine Zeta-Jones is a proven box office star as well. Reviews are average, but not poor enough to have a major effect on the box office and a $16 million is the target for the weekend.

School of Rock's box office has plummeted during the weekdays, but given its target audience that is to be expected. It should bounce back on the weekend to take $13 million, which's a drop of just 33%.

Out of Time will drop much more due to its genre, dropping to $9 million. That is in the mid-40s percent wise, much better than the average this year.

A kids' movie is the third movie to open this week, Good Boy! With reviews that are just straddling the 60% needed for an overall positive rating, and an average theatre count Good Boy! will have to settle for $8 million. That is nearly half its production budget, so the news isn't all bad.

The last new movie to open wide this week is The House of the Dead, based on a popular video game. Movies based on video games have generally performed very poorly at the box office. And since this is the fourth of five low budget horror movies released this year the market place could very well be saturated. Reviews are sparse, and generally very bad. Look for it to make about $5 million this weekend before dropping out of theatres by Halloween.

Spending what will likely be its last week in the top ten is Lost in Translation. While it gained more theatres this week, it's not enough for it to hold onto its box office. $3 million this week and fading hopes for Oscar nominations.


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Filed under: School of Rock, Kill Bill: Volume 1, Lost in Translation, Out of Time, Good Boy!, Intolerable Cruelty, The House of the Dead