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Busy Weekend Won't Help Box Office

April 22nd, 2005

Despite having four wide releases this weekend the box office is likely to be relatively flat. To be more accurate, there are two wide releases, one semi-wide release and a limited release expanding wide, but such a busy schedule will result in at least one of those films getting squeezed out, possibly two or more. That will leave the overall box office nearly flat compared to last weekend and have it fall further behind with last year. Summer can't start soon enough.

On paper The Interpreter looks like an Oscar contender, in fact, it was originally scheduled for a release during the competitive award season last December. But in the end it was pushed back to the semi-dumping grounds of mid-April. Was this a mistake? While the reviews suggest the film is better than most that are released at this time of year, they are not up to the level needed to win many awards. But they are more than enough to secure top spot this weekend with between $18 million and $19 million.

The Amityville Horror is MGM's last wide release before being absorbed by Sony. And while it started off well, it's likely to completely collapse at the box office this week dropping 50%, or more. That leaves the film with just under $12 million this weekend and just over $40 million for its run so far.

Expanding from 7 theaters to 2,500 should push Kung Fu Hustle into the top five with close to $10 million. The film is earning the best reviews of any wide release this year beating out In Good Company by a couple percentage points. (On a side note, Sin City is still the best reviewed film to open wide.) However, the film won't become a massive success simply because it is targeting a bit of a niche market and that will likely result in steep drop-offs from here on in.

Our next wide release is the utterly generic A Lot Like Love. The film is earning merely mixed reviews and is being compared with a substandard episode of Friends, without the interesting characters. In the end it will open closer to My Boss's Daughter than Just Married with a debut just north of $8 million.

Rounding out the top five should be Sahara, which will need long, long legs just to make it to rise above the level of major bomb. This film will need to make $100 million domestically to show a profit before it hits the home market, and that's assuming it is a much bigger hit internationally than it was domestically. But the film will likely earn just $8 million this weekend for a running tally of $48 million, leaving the film with almost no shot at meeting its goal.

The last wide release of the weekend is King's Ransom, arguably the worst reviewed movie of the year. Combined with the facts that it is only opening in 1,500 theaters and that none of its stars are real box office draws, and the film will likely struggle to hit $5 million, likely falling well short.

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Filed under: The Interpreter, Sahara, The Amityville Horror, A Lot Like Love, Kung Fu Hustle, King's Ransom