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Death by Chocolate

July 15th, 2005

Now that The Slump is over, the movie industry is looking to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to make sure the box office doesn't start a new slump.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the obvious choice to take the top spot, the real question is how much will it earn, and how far above the next best film will it be. If the reviews are anything to go by, the film should be huge as its one of the best wide releases of the year. But has we saw with The Fantastic Four last week, ratings mean very little compared to an effective ad campaign. On that front, I think the studio has done a good job and the film should become Johnny Depp's best opening and only the fourth film of the year to open with $50 million. Look for $55 million this weekend and the legs to reach $200 million and beyond.

The R-Rated comedies hasn't been doing quite as well at the box office since theatres starting cracking down on selling tickets to underage moviegoers. That will undoubtedly hurt The Wedding Crashers, on the other hand, the film is earning better than expected reviews and tracking shows stronger than anticipated interest among women. It probably won't earn half as much as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but it could come close with $27 million.

The Fantastic Four has had difficulty hanging onto its box office during the midweek, and that suggests a steep decline over the weekend. It could fall as far as 60%, or more, but odd are it will just manage to avoid that fate. And with $24 million over the weekend it will become just the 10th film to hit $100 million this year.

War of the Worlds's third weekend drop-off should be a mild improvement over its sophomore stint. But it will still come close to losing half its box office landing at $16 million. This will be enough to propel the film into second place for the year leapfrogging several films in the process.

On the one hand, Batman Begins should earn between over $6 million and $7 million over the weekend to push it ahead of Hitch on the yearly chart. On the other hand, that won't be enough to top Madagascar and with War of the Worlds topping it, the film will be no higher up the charts.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith will fall out of the top ten this weekend, but it should add $1.5 million along the way. That will just be enough to jump ahead of Spider-Man 2 and into 8th place on the All Time Charts.

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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds, Wedding Crashers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, Fantastic Four