The Cat in the Hat to Win with a Big, Big Grin
November 21st, 2003
In honor of Dr. Seuss, I was going to do the whole column in rhyme, but I decided it might irritate some long-time readers. That and I can't find my rhyming dictionary anywhere.
The Cat in the Hat will easily finish first at the box office; thereby confirming quality doesn't mean everything at the box office. The reviews for this movie are absolutely horrible, currently sitting at just 11% positive. Compared that to The Grinch, which got 53% positive. No film currently in the top 10 comes close to that score; the last film to open with such a low score was Cold Creek Manor. Compounding problems is the strong competition from last week's winner Elf. The Cat in the hat will win this weekend, and will top Elf's opening as well with $34 million. But it's legs at the box office will be far shorter than Elf's.
Even with the increased competition, Elf should take second place with a very strong drop-off. Granted, it will be sharper than last weekend's 15%, but a third weekend drop-of a little more than 25% is excellent. That will give Elf a weekend total of just below $20 million and $100 million either late next week, or early next weekend.
Also holding up well, but for different reasons, will be Master and Commander: Far Side of the World. As with most movies with an older demographic, strong legs will be the saving grace of this film. A second week drop of just one third at the box office and a $17 million weekend will help recoup some of that $150 million budget.
Reviews for Gothika are only slightly better than the Cat in the Hat's, but its box office standing is significantly worse. Halle Berry hasn't had success carrying a movie, all her hits have either been ensemble pieces (X-Men) or supporting roles to already established characters (Die Another Day.) Her box office appeal will have a hard time overcoming the poor reviews leading to a $15 million opening weekend. Looks like she'll have to wait for Catwoman before she has a hit of her own.
There are three movies battling for the final place in the top five: Brother Bear, Love Actually and The Matrix Revolutions. All three should be within $1 million of each other.
Love Actually has the best shot at fifth place as it is adding another 500 theatres this weekend. This should offset most, if not all, or its drop in per theatre average. With almost no week to week drop-off, it will finish at $8.5 million and fifth place.
It seems every week Brother Bear has more competition for that coveted kids' demographic. And every week it holds up well, not great, but not poorly either. This week is no different with a slightly greater than one third drop to $8.0 million.
Unlike Love Actually, The Matrix Revolutions is shedding theatres, fast. It will suffer another greater than 50% loss to end at $7.5 million and seventh place. $150 million total box office is becoming less and less likely.
Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Filed under: Elf, The Matrix Revolutions, The Cat in the Hat, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Brother Bear, Gothika, Love Actually, Catwoman, Cold Creek Manor