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Another Unlucky Weekend

May 16th, 2005

Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky omen as the box office continued its slump. We did see a massive 17.3% increase from last weekend, but more importantly 9.5% drop-off from the same time last year, which is the 12th down weekend in a row. As for year-to-date, 2004 has brought in $2.715 billion, off 7% from the same time last year.

It was a surprise first-place finish for Monster-In-Law with $23.1 million. That makes it the biggest opening of Jennifer Lopez's career and a successful return to acting by Jane Fonda. On the down side, the reviews are poor enough that word-of-mouth will likely hurt the film's legs and next weekend it could be crushed by the competition. Even so, with holidays around the corner the film should make enough to show a profit during its initial push on the home market.

Kicking and Screaming couldn't live up to Will Ferrell's other hits, pulling in $20.2 million over the weekend and finishing in second place. Reviews were weak, but not terrible and with little in the way of family entertainment for the next few weeks it could still have strong legs.

Unleashed missed expectations with just $10.9 million this weekend, but thanks to terrible competition, it was still able to finish one place higher than expected. Jet Li films have famously bad legs, and even the best reviews for this week's patch of wide releases won't change that. This film should connect with international audiences, but it will still have a tough time earning back its production budget.

It's game over for Kingdom of Heaven, the epic film with an even more epic budget saw its box office slashed in half to $9.6 million over the weekend. If this is indicative of how the film will fare internationally (and early reports suggest it is), then the studio will be stuck paying for this one for a long time.

On the other hand, Crash held up amazingly well, almost unbelievably well, dropping just 22.9% to $7.0 million during its second weekend of release. Unfortunately, it didn't get a serious boost in its theater count and with Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith coming out this week it is unlikely that it ever will.

Just before I uploaded last Friday's predictions, I upped my expectations for Mindhunters from $2 million to $3 to $4 million. Turns out that was a mistake. The long delayed film managed just $1.9 million, beating Sahara for 10th place by just over $100,000. Even worse, reviews continued to weaken leaving the film with just a score of 28% positive. This film could be out of theaters by the end of the month.

On a more positive note, Million Dollar Baby hit $100 million over the weekend, making it the 24th film from 2004 to do so.

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Filed under: Million Dollar Baby, Monster-in-Law, Crash, Kicking and Screaming, Kingdom of Heaven, Danny the Dog, Mindhunters