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Record Opening for Passion

March 1st, 2004

There was some good news and some bad news this past weekend. First the good news, we saw huge increases at the box office this weekend, both from the previous weekend, (66%) and from last year (48%). Now the bad news; it was all thanks to one movie, which doesn't bode well for the overall strength of the box office. In fact, even after last weekend 2004 is still 3% back of 2003's pace.

The Passion of the Christ beat all expectations over the weekend taking in $83.8 million. That's the sixth biggest weekend and the fourth biggest 5-day opening and the biggest for both outside the holiday seasons. And given its older demographics it should have strong legs despite mediocre reviews.

Again, 50 First Dates beat expectations taking in $12.7 million. It is now just one weekend away from becoming 2004's second $100 million movie.

My gut instinct on Twisted led me to a $9 million prediction. But the more I researched the movie the worse its prospects seemed. Just one positive review out of 88 on Rotten Tomatoes didn't help. In the end I dropped my prediction to $7 million. But now it seems I should have gone with my gut as the film just missed my original number with $8.9 million. But it's unlikely to remain in the top 5 for another week.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was able to beat expectations for the second weekend in a row taking in $6.3 million. Given a production budget estimated to be in the mid-teens, it's total box office of $17 million so far is respectable.

Havana Nights wasn't the train wreck I thought it would be, but an opening of just $5.8 million isn't a success either. With very poor reviews don't expect this one to stick around after next weekend.

It took two years after Super Troopers before Broken Lizard could make their follow up movie, Club Dread. And after earning only $3.0 million at the box office it will be more than 2 years before they can make the next one. And no matter how long it takes, I'm sure the critics will think it's too soon. On an interesting note, over at Metacritic, Club Dread was the highest rated new film of the weekend beating The Passion of the Christ by 1 point.

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Filed under: The Passion of the Christ, 50 First Dates, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Twisted, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Club Dread