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Slight Setback at the Top of the Charts

May 17th, 2004

Both opening films were unable to reach expectations and because of this we saw a relatively flat performance week-to-week of just 6.8%. And compared to last year's monster opening for The Matrix Reloaded this year was down an amazing 26.5%. Year to date now has 2004 up by just 1.2%, half the estimated ticket price inflation and unless Shrek 2 opens huge next weekend this year will dip below last year's pace.

Troy finished first, but is was a costly victory for Warner Bros. The film, which cost more than $200 million to get to theatres, pulled in only $46.9 million over the weekend. That's quite a drop from last week's winner Van Helsing, this despite much better reviews. Even if the film has better legs domestically, Troy will need strong international box office results as well as a solid home market before it sees a profit.

Van Helsing's shot at earning a profit took a large hit this weekend as it tumbled almost 60% to just $20.7 million. Now many films have dropped more during their second weekend at the box office, but very few of them have done so after finishing first. It should become only the third 2004 to break $100 million next weekend, but that will be its last milestone it reaches.

It was another weekend of better than expected results for Mean Girls. With $10.2 million at the box office, the film has earned $55 million on a production budget of just $18 million. With only one wide release next weekend it will spend an entire month in the top five, a very impressive feat considering when it was released.

Another film showing remarkable legs is Man on Fire, which again finished one spot higher than expected with $5.1 million. This is partly due strong legs but also due to the weakness in the counter-programming movies.

Speaking of under-performing counter-programming films, Breakin' All the Rules only managed $5.1 million. Combine the poor start with its poor reviews and that should result in a short theatrical run.

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Filed under: Shrek 2, The Matrix Reloaded, Troy, Van Helsing, Mean Girls, Man on Fire, Breakin' All the Rules