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Competition Caught in Spider's Web

July 12th, 2004

No real surprises this weekend, at least none of them pleasant. The box office was a little slow compared to predictions and that lead to a serious decrease of 10.5% from last weekend. The year-to-year comparison and not bad, but are starting to show signs of serious weakness; the weekend box office was up, but at just 2.65% it's below ticket price inflation. With a year-to-date box office increase of only 6.5% so far, it won't take much to see this year's gains drop below ticket price inflation.

In its second weekend, Spider-man 2 dropped just less than 50% landing at $45.2 million. That's not even in the top ten for biggest second weekend, compared to the original, which previously held the record. As for its long-term projections, it still has a lead on both its predecessor and Shrek 2, but it isn't holding up nearly as well, so it is unlikely to pass their final tallies. It still has a shot at holding up long enough to break the record for fastest to $300 million, but that's probably the last big record it will break.

Anchorman may not have been able to take top spot, but it was sill had a huge start at $28.4 million. Given Will Ferrell popularity, easily the best reviews of the weekend and the lack of pure comedies for the next couple of weeks, and this film should have the legs to cross $100 million, or at least come close.

I was expecting a much better Thursday to Friday jump for King Arthur, but it wasn't able to deliver. The latest Disney dud only managed $15.2 million over the weekend and $23.6 million since Wednesday. Bad reviews will probably result in poor legs, while it should see stronger results internationally. Even if it manages a 30 / 70 domestic / international split, its worldwide box office will still be seen as a disappointment. However, poor domestic results will probably mean that Disney won't promote the film as heavily internationally as it otherwise would have.

Fahrenheit 9/11 earned $11.0 million over the weekend to push its box office total to $80 million. Its per theatre average is still strong, but its doubtful there will be any significant increases in its theatre count from now on. It should still top To Fly! sometime mid-week before hitting $100 million by the end of the month.

Making a surprise return to the top five is The Notebook with $6.5 million. This film is being helped out by the lack of direct competition and should easily surpass original expectations.

The final film to open wide this weekend failed to live up to expectation, expectations that were quite low to begin with. Sleepover, which was savaged by the critic could only manage $4.2 million and barely a 10th place finish this weekend. And with direct competition next week from Hillary Duff in the form of A Cinderella Story it won't be in theatres long.

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Filed under: Shrek 2, Spider-Man 2, Fahrenheit 9/11, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Notebook, King Arthur, A Cinderella Story