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Weekend of the Dead

March 19th, 2004

With three movies opening wide we should see a change at the top spot this week. But there are a couple of twists. Firstly, all three movies are rated R, which should help more kid friendly fare at the box office. Secondly, the movie with the best reviews is also opening in the fewest theatres.

Dawn of the Dead is a remake of the second part of George A. Romero's Dead Trilogy. The critics say the film is less subtle and has less soul than the original, but at 75% positive, it is still one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year. Horror movies tend to under-perform in the spring, but I think this one will beat that trend taking in $25 million opening weekend, almost as much as its production budget of $28 million.

Entering into its fourth weekend, The Passion of the Christ is still going strong, but probably not strong enough to take top spot. $20 million will be enough for it to become the highest grossing R-Rated movie of all time.

Four movie will be battling for third place.

It barely missed predictions last weekend, but Secret Window looks in good shape to hold on to most of its box office earning just shy of $11 million.

The second new movie of the weekend, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is earning the best reviews of the weekend. In fact, at 94% positive, and even higher from the cream-of-the-crop, it should have some of the best reviews of 2004 when it is done. Unfortunately, it is also opening in only 1353 theatres. True, this is the widest opening for a Charlie Kaufman penned film, but with the star power behind it, it should have opened wider. Even so, it should finish fourth with $10.5 million and enough legs to make the studio very happy.

Starsky & Hutch should already be considered a hit, and another $10 million this weekend will push its box office above its production budget. But even with just average costs it will take strong international and home market sales for it to see a profit.

Taking Lives is the first of four movies for Angelina Jolie this year, a year that will either cure her box office woes, or kill her career. Earning easily the worst reviews of the weekend won't help. Neither will opening with less than $10 million and out of the top five.

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Filed under: The Passion of the Christ, Starsky & Hutch, Dawn of the Dead, Secret Window, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Taking Lives