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Record Breaking Weekend

June 27th, 2005

The slump continued this weekend, marking the 18th weekend in a row that the overall box office was lower than the same weekend last year. That's the longest such slump since detailed box office data was kept (1982). To add insult to injury, it wasn't even close; the yearly comparison showed a 14.5% drop-off from the last year. This weekend the box office really should have stopped the streak, and now it looks like it could continue until August, and possibly longer.

At least there was some good news on the box office charts as Batman Begins beat expectations with a $27.6 million sophomore stint. That represents just a 43% drop-off, much better than the yearly average so far. It also pushed the film's total box office to $122.5 million after just 12 days, and if the word of mouth continues to be strong and it performs just as well internationally, this film should show a profit early in its home market run.

Bewitched matched expectations nearly perfectly, pulling in $20.1 million over the weekend. And while that's good news for me, it's not good news for the studio, which paid more than $100 million to get the movie into theatres (including both the production budget and the P&A budget). And since reviews were thoroughly negative, it is unlikely to have the word-of-mouth needed to show a profit.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith also held up better than expected, dropping just 35% to $16.8 million over the weekend for a $125.5 million haul. The film is now the sixth highest grossing film of the year, and should climb a couple more spots shortly.

There was little love thrown at Herbie, as the film struggled with just $12.7 million over the weekend and $17.7 million since its Wednesday debut. The studio was obviously expecting much more from the film, as were the more than 3,500 theaters that booked the film. And with reviews that continue to sink, it is unlikely the film will recover from this slow start.

Ok, I admit I was a little bullish when it came to George A. Romero's Land of the Dead and the fact that it 'only' made $10.2 million over the weekend should not be seen as a disappointment. After all, it only cost $15 million to make and profitability is all but assured at this point. However, even solid reviews will be no match for the Fanboy Effect and the film will most likely suffer a big drop-off next weekend.

As predicted, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith added $6.2 million to its overall box office, which now sits at $358.5 million. Over the weekend the film topped Jurassic Park and entered the top ten on the All Time Charts. Its next target is The Passion of the Christ, but it will take a couple of weeks to get there.

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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, Batman Begins, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Bewitched, George A. Romero's Land of the Dead