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Big Harry Potter Drop not Enough to Remove it from the Top

June 14th, 2004

The weekend box office was filed with bad movies and that makes predicting that much more difficult. However, while there were a few surprises, it wasn't as chaotic as it could have been. But with the three new movie combined opening barely above the drop Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban suffered. And that lead to a serious drop from last weekend of 15.75%. But last year at this time, the trio of films that opened really bombed leading to a spectacular 29% increase at the box office. That's several weeks in a row of year to year increases.

The competition for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was quite a bit stronger than expected, which hurt its Friday number to the tune of greater than 70% drop. The film did partially recovered during the rest of the weekend as poor word of mouth really took its toll on the other films. In the end, however, it missed expectations with just $34.9 million. That was enough to overtake The Day After Tomorrow for third place for the year. But unless it can halt the dramatic declines, it will have trouble beating Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The Chronicles of Riddick could be an expensive mistake for Universal. With a production budget of $120 million and horible reviews, a start of just $24.3 million isn't enough. And with an internal multiplier of less than 2.5, chances are it won't have long legs either. Unless the film can find a much bigger audience internationally than it will domestically, it will take a very strong home market for this film to show a profit.

It took till Saturday, just 25 days into its run, for Shrek 2 to earn more than Finding Nemo did during its entire run. And with $23.3 million on its fourth weekend, Shrek 2 should stick around theatres for a while, hitting several more milestones along the way. Next up, topping Jurassic Park for 8th on the all time chart, which it should do on Monday.

Proving once again that kids don't read reviews, Garfield did surprisingly well earning $21.7 million over the weekend. Even with awful reviews, the younger demographic should help this film's final box office past its production budget. Something the other two films debuting this week won't be able to do. Is that enough to make a sequel? It could be, if the home sales are strong enough.

The biggest surprise this weekend was The Stepford Wives, which nearly doubled expectations with $21.4 million. This can be explained by the improvement is its reviews, which went from pathetic to just laughable after I had uploaded my predictions. Still, this is not a good enough start for a movie that cost $100 million to make and that may have limited international appeal.

Even though The Day After Tomorrow was able to beat expectations with $14.5 million, it was not enough to stay in the top 5. It was enough to push its box office over the $150 million mark.

Not only did Saved! make it into the top ten, it easily beat the leggy Mean Girls; in fact, with $2.5 million it was closer to topping Troy for 8th place than settling for 10th. This film should match its $5 million production budget sometime during next weekend and with a $4300 per theatre average, its theatre count should expand a bit more before its run is over.

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Filed under: Shrek 2, Finding Nemo, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Day After Tomorrow, Troy, Mean Girls, Garfield: The Movie, The Stepford Wives, The Chronicles of Riddick, Saved!