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Out of this Galaxy

April 29th, 2005

For the first time in a couple of weeks there's an actual race for first place between two movies that have very different target audiences. The first is a straight up action flick targeting the prime demographic of adolescent males from 18 to 35. The second is a quirky comedy that should have wide, across the board appeal. Combined, they should bump up the box office ahead of the lucrative summer season.

While XXX: State of the Union is doing about as well as one would expect with the critics, it will mostly likely beat early expectations at the box office. Tracking has the film earning in the mid $20 million range, which would make it Ice Cube's biggest opening ever. Although even with a $27 million opening, it won't have the legs to become Ice Cube's biggest box office hit, falling short with $70 million.

Coming in a close second should be Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a film more than 20 years in the making. The long delay could be a factor in the lower than expected rating as expectations could have grown in the meantime. Another factor is the polarized opinion the film brings out in people, those that hate the book will love this film. Those that love the book love it so much that they may hate any change made for the movie. Regardless of why the reviews are lower than expected, the result is a smaller box office than expected. So look for $25 million over the opening weekend before the Fanboy Effect kicks in resulting in a $62 million final box office.

The fact that The Interpreter's audience skews a little older should help the film hold on to more of its box office this weekend than otherwise expected. The film should suffer a very mild second weekend drop-off of just 40% to $13.5 million for a $43 million total after two weeks.

The Amityville Horror continues its better than expected run with $7.5 million over the weekend and $54 million total. That puts its box office above its total costs, which is an excellent sign for long term profitability. But hopefully Sony won't try and milk the franchise further and try and make a sequel.

Rounding out the top five should be Sahara with about $5 million. Although this is clearly a case of way too little, far too late.

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Filed under: The Interpreter, Sahara, The Amityville Horror, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, XXX: State of the Union