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It's Going to be One of Those Weekends

August 20th, 2004

Like last weekend, all three movies opening wide this weekend are receiving less than stellar reviews. But unlike last weekend, there's no built in audiences for most of these movies, so look for a sharp drop at the box office. On the plus side, there should be quite a battle for top spot with five films within striking distance of each other.

Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement should hold up better than most movies this summer and that should help it climb into first place with $12.5 million. It's still going to have trouble keeping pace with the original but it should still make enough to be considered a success when it is all said and done.

Open Water has its wide opening this weekend, but it will have trouble maintaining even a fraction of its per theatre average. It should take in $12 million over the weekend, an amazing total for a film that cost just $130 thousand to make, and cost just $2.5 million for the distribution rights.

So far Alien Vs. Predator's weekday drops have been even worse than Hulk, so look for an even worse second weekend performance. That would result in a $11.5 million box office, which is still enough to push its total box office past its production budget of $60 million.

I've already given the story about Exorcist: The Beginning in the August Preview. Its reviews are slightly better than I thought at 8% positive. Look for a weekend of just $11 million, and a total box office that won't cover its P&A budget.

Rounding out the top five will be Without a Paddle. Not the worst reviewed movie of the year, but it won't be winning any popularity contests with the critics. I'm prediction the movie will generate $10 million this weekend and an impassioned plea for Seth Green to get a new agent. Being the best part of a bad movie isn't good for your career.

The last new wide opener is Benji: Rags to Riches, Off the Leash and / or The Promise of Christmas. It's gone through a few name changes. Now it has a sub-1000 theatre opening, nearly no reviews and a nearly invisible ad campaign all leads to a sub $2 million opening and a quick exit from the theatres.

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Filed under: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, Without a Paddle, Exorcist: The Beginning, Open Water, Benji: Off the Leash!