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Woman Makes Analysts Mad

February 28th, 2005

It was a shocking weekend at the box office, which is good, since the Oscars seemed safe and predictable this year. However, not all the surprises were pleasant and even with the top film more than doubling its prediction the overall box office wasn't that much higher than expected. It fell by 7.7% from last weekend and 22% from last year. Year to date 2005's lead was cut nearly in half to 8.6%, $1.244 billion to $1.145 billion. Look for that trend to continue next weekend.

Most analysts were predicting Diary of a Mad Black Woman would struggle to make it to the top five. Everything seemed to be conspiring against it: awful reviews, a lackluster ad campaign, small theater count... none of which would indicate a number one finish. However, that's where the film ended the weekend, hitting number one, with $21.9 million. It also had one of the best per theater averages of the weekend, so expect a massive expansion at the theaters next weekend, which should help the film's legs considerably.

Despite beating expectations, Hitch fell to second place with $20.4 million. The film has already earned more money that its total budget, (estimated at $100 - $110 million) and may show a tiny profit before its domestic run it over. It is also very likely that the film will continue to lead the 2005 box office till mid-May when Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith comes out.

The first of the films to miss expectations was Constantine, which dropped just shy of 60% during its sophomore stint to just $12.0 million. This could be explained by the Fanboy Effect, which tends to hit comic book movies quite hard, since the reviews weren't that bad. The bad news continues for the studio as comic book movies tend to be a tough sell internationally, and the only market where this film should have been a guaranteed hit, the U.K., won't be because of the changes made to the movie to appeal to an American audience. In the end, the film will have a tough time earning back its $100 million initial investment.

Cursed lived up to its name, barely making fourth place with $9.6 million. And combining the horror genre with dismal reviews will most likely result in short, short legs. Personally, I'll skip this movie and re-watch Ginger Snaps again.

Rounding out the top five was Man of the House with just $8.9 million. The worst-reviewed movie of the week appears to be DOA and will miss our initial expectations, which were pretty low to begin with.

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Filed under: Hitch, Constantine, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Man of the House, Cursed