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Some Scary Records Set

October 27th, 2003

It was a huge weekend to close out October with records set for widest October opening, biggest opening weekend in October and best overall October box office. With all these box office records being set, it's no surprise the box office was up 14% from last week and 21% from last year.

It was no surprise that Scary Movie 3 won the weekend; it was a surprise how much it earned. $48.1 million dollars was not only well ahead of all predictions, it was also a record for the biggest opening weekend in October. It also broke the record for widest opening in October at 3,503 theatres. For this type of movie reviews are almost a non-issue; however, the PG-13 rating may have helped the overall box office by allowing more high-school males to get tickets. Budget information hasn't been released yet, but it is expected to be between the first two movies in the Scary Movie Trilogy, and even with a $25 million ad campaign Scary Movie 3 will show a profit by the end of next weekend. Needless to say, there is another sequel in the works, this time lampooning Super Heroes.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre also beat expectations, albeit by a much smaller margin. The $14.5 million earned in its second week was only a 47% drop at the box office, very good given the genre and advanced hype. It was also enough to push its total past $50 million and to start showing a profit for the studio.

The latest attempt by Cuba Gooding Jr. to regain acting legitimacy came in third place with $13.3 million, just below predictions. Reviews for Radio are not strong enough to erase the memory of Boat Trip, and were in fact weaker than the rest of the top ten at only 35% positive.

After a weaker than expected opening weekend, The Runaway Jury had a much better than expected second weekend. The courtroom drama lost less than 30% of its box office to land at $8.4 million and fourth place. This could be an indication of strong legs to come, but no amount of legs will allow the film to recover the estimated $80 million production / P&A budget.

For the second weekend in a row, Mystic River rounded out the top five. This time its box office was $7.8 million, down just 25%. Its box office total is now just shy of its production budget of $25 million.

If there is any accountability in the movie industry then the performance of Beyond Borders should cost someone their job. The budget for this movie has been estimated at anywhere from $50 to $70 million, but its first weekend it only made $2.1 million and failed to make the top ten. That's a per theatre average of just $1154, compare that to The Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl which made $1271 per theatre and it was in its 16th week of release. Reviews are going to be no help either; at just 16% positive it has the lowest number of positive review for any movie currently in wide release by nearly 20 percentage points. Paramount will be lucky to make back 10% of its investment before it hits the home market.

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Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Scary Movie 3, Mystic River, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Radio, Runaway Jury, Beyond Borders