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Slower Start to Summer

May 10th, 2004

Summer got off to a really, really slow start this year. Last year the first weekend in May resulted in an incredible 66% week-to-week increase but this year that increase was only 7.1%. And while this weekend last year was the slowest of the summer box office season (May to mid-August), but this year it was actually 1.4% lower. If we don't see a dramatic increase next weekend the year-to-date increase could drop below the inflation.

Van Helsing easily won the weekend but a box office just shy of expectations at $51.7 million. That's nearly 40% lower than X-Men United's opening, which launched last year's lucrative summer box office season. The legs for this film should be about the same as X-Men United as very poor reviews will hurt its long-term success, but X-Men United suffered from the Fanboy Effect and Sequelitis like almost no other film before it. So those two factors should even out. However, since Van Helsing started slower and cost roughly a third more to produce, it's obvious this film will not be nearly as profitable.

With $13.7 million at the box office, Mean Girls beat expectations for the second weekend in a row. Not only that, it now just needs a few more weeks at the box office to show a profit and it should perform even better at the home market. Needless to say, we'll be seeing a lot more of Lindsay Lohan at the box office and hopefully the same can be said of writer / actor Tina Fey.

While Man on Fire just missed expectations at the box office taking in $8.2 million, it managed to finish one place higher in the charts. The film is showing typically strong legs for a Denzel Washington movie.

It was a disappointing fourth place opening for New York Minute. With a box office of just $6.0 million it looks like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were unable to translate their direct-to-video success into box office gold. The film wasn't helped out by its reviews but I think there's also a certain stigma about going to an Olsen Twin's movie. Don't feel too bad for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the film will do much bigger business at the home market and they are still the heads of a $1 billion empire.

Rounding out the top five is 13 Going On 30, which earned another $5.8 million. The film is dropping a little faster than expected, but should still make a strong return on its budget.

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Filed under: X2, Van Helsing, Mean Girls, Man on Fire, New York Minute, 13 Going On 30