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Massive Turnout for Presidents' Weekend

February 22nd, 2005

The long weekend helped boost ticket sales to higher than expected levels, with almost every film meeting or exceeding predictions. Percentage-wise, the three-day weekend was up 10.9% from last weekend and more than 40% from last year. However, this weekend last year was not Presidents' Day Weekend and thus that comparison is misleading. Comparing 2005 Presidents Day Weekend to 2004 and the results are still very strong, just not overwhelmingly so; 3-day 2005 was up 7.0% and 8.4% for the 4-day weekend. Year to date, 2005 is up 13.4% on 2004, with $1.121 billion. However, 2004 had a slow start and didn't really take off until late February.

Hitch not only took top spot, but beat expectations with a 3-day total of $31.4 million and a 4-day total of $36.7 million. The film already has $95 million and should become the first $100 million movie of 2005 sometime during the middle of the week. Obviously, next weekend there will be a strong drop-off, being a post holiday weekend and all, but it should still climb higher on the charts, to become one of the highest grossing Romantic Comedies of all time.

Keanu Reeves's career has been spotty at best. Setting aside The Matrix series, he's had more misses than hits. But with Constantine beating expectations, and having a real shot at $100 million, he's already 2 for 2 in his post-Matrix days. But to hit $100 million, Constantine will need to overcome reviews that were mixed to poor. On the down side, the production budget was higher than expected at $100 million, so the film's going to need a strong international run to pull a profit.

So far Because of Winn-Dixie has matched expectations nearly perfectly. The film earned mixed reviews, mostly due to its old-fashion feel. It then pulled in $10.2 million over the three day weekend, but was a little softer than expected on Monday, bringing its weekend total to $13.2 million. With its younger target demographic, the film should have better than average legs.

The final new wide release of the weekend was Son of the Mask, which failed to live up to lowered expectations with just $7.5 million / $9.1 million. You don't need to look any further than the reviews to figure out why. With just 4% positive, including 0% from the Cream of the Crop this film will go down as one of the worst reviewed movies of the year. The lesson to be learned here: don't make sequels to Jim Carrey movies without Jim Carrey. And since Jim Carrey has sworn to never do another sequel, just don't make the movie.

Million Dollar Baby spent its last weekend in the top five, barring a massive win at the Oscars next weekend. But even with $6.8 million / $8.1 million, this year's crop of Best Picture nominations have really struggled at the box office compared to previous years.

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Filed under: Hitch, Million Dollar Baby, Constantine, Because of Winn-Dixie, Son of the Mask