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Panic Mode - Disengaged

May 25th, 2004

Finally, we have something to celebrate this summer. The lone wide release this week, Shrek 2 had a multi-record breaking opening, and that meant a huge 51% increase in the overall box office from last weekend. And that lead to a huge increase over the same weekend last year, right? Well not quite, the increase was rather minimal at just 3.6%, inline with estimated ticket price increases. However, this weekend last year was the Memorial Day long weekend, so the comparison is not quite fair. Further more, 2004 has again slipped behind 2003 year-to-date, albeit by the narrowest of narrow margins $3.125 billion to $3.119 billion based on Sunday's estimates.

It turns out my initial prediction for Shrek 2 was quite accurate, at least the 5-day prediction. Wednesday and Thursday's figures, on the other hand, were much weaker than expected. But it did manage to break several records starting with the best Wednesday opening for an animated film at $11.8 million. (The previous record holder was Pokemon: The First Movie with $10.1 million and that film only made a total of $85 million at the box office, so you can see why there were some concerns on Thursday.) Over the weekend other records broken like widest release at 4,163 theatres, biggest opening for an animated film with $108.0 million and biggest single day at $44.8 million, biggest 5-day box office for a Wednesday opening at $129.0 million. And just like that, it has become the biggest hit of the summer thus far and with awesome reviews it has a real chance at becoming the biggest hit of the year. At least for a little while.

Troy didn't fare quite as well dropping almost exactly 50% dropping to just $23.9 million. The film will still make it too $100 million, but matching its production budget of $150 million will be a little more difficult.

Van Helsing dropped just under 50% at the box office during its third weekend at the box office landing at $10.6 million. That was barely enough for the film to cross $100 million, only the fourth film to do so this year. However, that's little comfort given its huge budget.

Mean Girls continues to show impressive legs with a fourth weekend haul of $6.9 million was easily enough for a fourth place finish. And while this is most likely its last weekend in the top, it is still a success beyond what anyone expected. All this with a production budget of less than $20 million, which just goes to show you don't have to spend $100 million to make a hit.

Also making its final appearance in the top five is Man on Fire, which managed another $3.7 million raising its total box office to just shy of $70 million.

Also worth noting, the limited release documentary, Super Size Me made an appearance in the top ten despite playing in only 148 theatres. Its weekend take was just shy of $1.0 million and it's creating a lot of positive buzz.

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Filed under: Shrek 2, Troy, Van Helsing, Mean Girls, Man on Fire, Super Size Me