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Fire on Top as Two Films have $20 million Openings

April 26th, 2004

This was a weird weekend. We had a record-breaking event when two movies opened with $20 million and that's the first time that's ever happened in April. However, the total box office was still down more than 5% from last weekend. It was up 6% from the same time last year, sort of. It's getting really confusion doing the yearly comparisons because last year April had four weekends, while this year it has five.

I guess I can put away that, "Whatever happened to Denzel Washington?" story. Man on Fire had the biggest opening in Denzel's career: $22.8 million compared to the $22.6 million of his previous best Training Day. Weak reviews and a plethora of revenge based movies currently in theatres will hurt its legs in the long run.

It was a good start for 13 Going On 30, which came in second in a close battle with $21.1 million. Strong reviews, especially for Jennifer Garner should help it earn some long legs and it should easily top its combined budget of $60 million.

It took Kill Bill: Volume 2 just seven days to have a daily box office lower than the original's. And after a second weekend take of just $10.4 million it's cumulative box office is already below the original's box office at the same point during its run. However, it should perform stronger on the international scene than on the domestic scene.

On Friday I said The Punisher final run would be less than the Hulk's opening weekend. And a sophomore stint of just $6.3 million, more than 50% lower than last weekend, that is guaranteed. The week return for this film also puts the prospects of future Marvel Comic movie projects into doubt.

There was quite a battle for fifth place between, well between every other movie in the top 10. Places 5 through 10 were separated by less than $1 million.

I received several e-mails from several readers regarding Clifford's Really Big Movie. It was previously released in several key markets earlier in the year. The second release didn't fare much better taking in just $670,000 but the reviews really perked up, so word of mouth might help a bit more.

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Filed under: Hulk, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Man on Fire, Kill Bill: Volume 1, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Hellboy, Home on the Range, Walking Tall, The Punisher, Johnson Family Vacation, Ella Enchanted, Clifford's Really Big Movie, 13 Going On 30