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Nice Guys may Finish Last but Mean Girls Finish First

May 3rd, 2004

Five movies opening wide in one weekend is just too many for one weekend. Combined with the horrible reviews and its no wonder all but one film flopped. Fortunately that one film had one of the best April openings ever so we saw a pretty good increase from last weekend at 4%. However, this time last year was the beginning of May, which marks the official start of the Summer Blockbuster season, so it is no surprising that this weekend is down a huge 33% from last year. In fact X-Men United opening was just shy of the top 10's total. And if you add in The Lizzie McGuire Movie and their combined debuts are higher than the weekend's total box office.

Mean Girls not only took top spot this weekend, it wasn't even a close contest. Opening with $24.4 million should make a star out of Lindsay Lohan and solidify Tina Fey's reputation as one of the funniest writer / actors around. Reviews, which have crept up to 86% positive should provides the legs to push the film to profitability before long. The main concern is the huge competition starting next weekend. If the film can survive the onslaught it could become just the third film released in 2004 to cross $100 million.

April's first place finishers have really taken a beating the following weekend; before this past weekend the average drop-off was more than 60%. Bucking that trend was Man on Fire, which fell just 34% to $15.0 million. The film won't have the legs of Denzel Washington's biggest hit, but it should still have enough legs to be considered a reasonable hit.

13 Going On 30 couldn't hold on to its strong opening weekend box office dropping more than 50% to $9.9 million. And based on the very strong performance of Mean Girls it's easy to see where the audience went. Even with such a large drop, the film's total box office to date of $35 million is just a tad below its box office of $37 million.

While Godsend finished higher in the standings by one place, it's debut was a little less than predicted with a weak $6.8 million. The critical response was even worse and the film should have a mercifully short run in the theatres.

Laws of Attraction had a disappointed opening managing only a fifth place finished and $6.7 million, which was significantly below forecasts and well below the level needed to make profitability likely. In fact, given its very poor reviews there is a good chance its legs will be so poor that it will be out of theatres in just a few weeks.

Good news, Envy was able to meet expectations. Bad news, those expectations were very low at just $6.2 million. Good news, the numbers of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes doubled. Bad news, now there's just two positive reviews. Bad news, in two weeks it should lose most of its theatre count. Good news, it won't be missed.

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius had a disastrous debut managing a 16th place and taking in just $1.2 million, which is less than $1000 per theatres. I haven't seen an opening that bad since Marci X. Reviews certainly won't help matters and in two weeks the film will have its theatre count reduced to a mere fraction.

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Filed under: X2, Mean Girls, Man on Fire, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Laws of Attraction, Godsend, Envy, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Marci X, 13 Going On 30