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September was a Month the Industry Would Like to Forget

September 27th, 2004

Normally September starts out slow with Labor Day Weekend and drops a bit the weekend after, but then rebounds. But this September it started out weak, and just kept on getting weaker. The drop from last weekend was severe at nearly 9.5%, but the drop from last year was a hefty 24%. With $6.803 billion so far, 2004 still leads the year to date comparison by over 4%, but if October is half as bad as September that will change very quickly.

Despite poor reviews that focuses on the unsatisfying surprise ending, The Forgotten easy took top spot with $21.0 million. And at 2.76, the internal multiplier isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, but I won't bet on the film having strong legs anyway. Also worth noting, the film's performance was able to push Sony past the $1 Billion mark at the domestic box office; it is the first film to do so this year.

Add Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow to the growing list of movies that prove quality means nothing in the movie industry. The film plunged 57% during its sophomore stint to land at a mere $6.7 million. In the end, this film will cost the studio a bundle.

Mr. 3000 lived up to expectations earning $5.1 million this past weekend. That's a reasonable 42% drop, which is much better than the average film has managed this year.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse saw its weekly box office get slashed in half, again. But its $4.0 million was still enough for one last appearance in the top five.

Just to emphasize how bad the weekend was, First Daughter was barely able to meet expectations, but finished a couple of spots higher on the chart than predicted. The film took in $4.0 million, which was good enough for a fifth place finish, but with awful reviews it will have mediocre legs at best.

The week's biggest example of the futility of making a quality movie was Shaun of the Dead. Granted, the film only opened in 607 theatres, but it earned incredible reviews, which should have been enough to push it into the top five. However, it was not to be as the Zombie spoof could only manage $3.3 million and seventh place. Good news, it did have the second best per theatre average in the top ten … well, in the top 30 actually. And it should be able to use its word of mouth to grow in the coming weeks. If not, this film has cult status written all over it.

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Filed under: The Forgotten, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Mr. 3000, Shaun of the Dead, First Daughter