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Third Time's a Charm

August 1st, 2005

It was the second weekend of massive declines at the box office with the overall total falling by 12.4% from last weekend and an astounding 21.4% from last year. (Those figures are based on studio estimates and could change, slightly.) Year-to-date 2005 has now brought in $5.183 billion, off of last year's pace by 8%, while summer is even softer at $2.683 billion down by 10%.

It took three weeks but The Wedding Crashers finally took top spot on the charts with $20.0 million. That gives the film $115.6 million so far, which is enough to pay for the film's combined budget, even after taking into account the exhibitor's share. And the film's got a lot more upside left, perhaps enough to overtake There's Something About Mary on the all-time charts. It's one of the few pleasant surprises this year.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not having the legs most people were expecting it to have. This week it fell 42% to $16.4 million for a $148.1 million running tally, which has still not matched its lofty production budget. Strong weekday numbers are really helping the film, as will the home market, especially if released in time for the holiday shopping frenzy.

On Friday I predicted Sky High would win the box office race with $19 million. In my defense, when I made that prediction its reviews were at 81% positive; it has fallen since then dropping to just 60% positive (which is still enough for an overall fresh score). That does explain the film's $14.6 million opening, which should still be enough to keep the studio happy and plans for the TV series should move ahead.

For the second weekend in a row a loud, dumb, expensive action film flopped at the box office. This weekend it was Stealth, which missed lowered expectations with just $13.3 million and is unlikely to have strong legs. For a $130 million film, this is nothing short of a disaster and someone should lose his or her job over it.

Must Love Dogs also missed expectations, but by little more than $1 million at $12.9 million. Given its target demographic the film should have better than average legs despite weaker than expected reviews, but it will still miss original expectations.

March of the Penguins met expectations perfectly with $4.0 million for a $16.3 million running tally. And next weekend the film will nearly double its theatre count, which should be enough to propel the film past Bowling for Columbine making it the second highest grossing non-IMAX documentary on the domestic market.

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Filed under: Wedding Crashers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, La marche de l'empereur, Sky High, Must Love Dogs, Stealth