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Lord Will Remain King over Christmas

December 24th, 2003

There's really no doubt Lord of the Rings: Return of the King will remain number one over Christmas / the weekend. The only real question is how much of last weekend's record breaking performance will it maintain and how well will the other movies fare.

By the end of the night, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King will be in sixth place for the year. And after the weekend it will have leapt over X2: X-Men United into fifth place. Looking at its performance so far, and comparing it to the previous films in the trilogy, we can predict a $15 million Christmas and a $55 million weekend.

Coming in a distant second is the first of four new films opening on Christmas. Peter Pan is one of two family friendly films being released, the other being Cheaper by the Dozen. Peter Pan has a huge edge in reviews, but is opening in much fewer theatres. Hopefully quality will prevail over quantity at the box office. Look for $5 million on Christmas and $20 million on the weekend.

Bringing Down the House revived Steve Martin’s movie career. And while Cheaper by the Dozen won’t break $100 million like that one did, it should perform well at the box office. Critically is another matter; ratings are currently at only 24% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, but 50% on Metacritic. Basically, that means most reviewers agree it’s is not a great movie, but they don’t hate it either. A ninety minute sitcom is how it is usually described, which is not surprising since its directory, Shawn Levy, got his start directing sitcoms. It should pull $4 million on Christmas and $16 million over the weekend.

Three movies aimed at older audiences will be battling for the final two spots in the top five. They should all finish within $1 million of each other by the time weekend is over.

Right now Something's Gotta Give has a small advantage and should take in about $3 million on Christmas and just less than $14 million over the weekend. If it manages to out perform this prediction then $100 million

Next on the list should be the multi Golden Globe nominated Cold Mountain. For a film with 8 Golden Globe nominations, its reviews are pretty mediocre. Don’t get me wrong 72% positive is good, but not 8 nominations good. Cold Mountain should make a bit less than $4 million on Christmas and just over $13 million over the weekend.

Mona Lisa Smile will get a boost from Christmas and should do a bit better than last week. $3 million / $13 million is the prediction.

Failing to make the top five is Paycheck. The worst reviewed movie opening this week, it should make about $2.5 million tomorrow and $10 million over the weekend. The poor performance can easily be explained by over exposure of the star and the poor attitude of the director to the source material.

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Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Cheaper by the Dozen, Bringing Down the House, Something's Gotta Give, Cold Mountain, Mona Lisa Smile, Paycheck, Peter Pan