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January's Officially Over

February 6th, 2004

10 movies opened white in January, and only one movie earned overall postive reviews, (and that movie bombed at the theatres.) The first full weekend in February see three movies opening, two with positive reviews. But it will take a lot to help 2004, which is heading for the largest year-to-year box office drop-off in more than a decade.

When the first Barbershop opened in 2002 it surprised box office analysts topping its total budget in one week. Fast-forward a year and a half later and the sequel is one of the most anticipated movies of the New Year. And while its reviews are not quite up to the original's, it should outperform its predecessor at the box office, for at least the first weekend. Look for a $25 million opening but not as long legs.

There's a lot going for Miracle. It has the Disney marketing machine behind it, it has very good reviews including 80% positive from the cream of the crop, and a made for the big screen story. It also has a few points going against it like Kurt Russell's cold streak at the box office and the lack of hardcore Hockey fans in the States. I don't expect Miracle to challenge for top spot, but it should do well enough to place a solid second with $18 million.

Catch that Kid is being compared to Spy Kids and Agent Cody Banks, but mostly in a negative way. Very poor reviews and a very last minute change in the release date suggests that Fox realized that had a true January dump kind of film, they just realized it one week too late. Expect about $9 million in the bank by the end of the weekend, not bad considering its $18 million production budget. And anything substantially more than that and there will be a sequel in the works by Tuesday.

Last week's surprising hit, You Got Served stunned analysts finishing first with $16 million, but by mid week it had dropped to 3rd place losing more than 90% of its daily box office. This means one of three things: a.) The film has a really young demographic, say 10 -12 year olds. b.) The film has really bad word of mouth that will lead to a Hulk-like second weekend drop-off. Or c.) A little from column A and a little from column B. Look for a drop of a little more than 50% to $7 million.

Rounding out the top five will be The Butterfly Effect with a box office of $6 million. Given it's small production and P&A budget, the film only needs to make about $60 million to show a profit for the studio. And while it probably won't make it that far, it will be close enough to make the studio very happy.

For the first time since its release, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won't make it on the top five, but it will continue its climb up the all-time charts and in the history books. This week it broke $1 billion for the Trilogy, however, it will be a couple more weeks before it will top Jurassic Park for sixth place domestically.

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Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Miracle, The Butterfly Effect, You Got Served, Catch That Kid, Teacher's Pet: The Movie