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Will Halloween Scare Away Moviegoers?

October 29th, 2004

Traditionally, Halloween is not a good day for the movies, with kids and families staying away from the theatres in order to trick or treat. The only films that really benefit from Halloween are horror films aimed at High School and College students.

After earning a surprising $39 million last weekend, The Grudge looks like it could repeat on top. Normally a film like this would see a huge drop in its box office this week, well above 50% and perhaps as much as 60%. However, Halloween was made for movies like this, so it should escape that fate, barely, with $19 million.

Despite opening in just a hair more than 2000 theatres, Ray, the Ray Charles Biopic has the best shot at unseating The Grudge for top spot. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, there are the good reviews, including predictions of Oscar glory for Jaime Foxx. And secondly, there's the renewed interest in the legendary pianist's life after his death this past summer. Look for $17 million at the box office, and strong legs as award season heats up.

The second wide release of the week is the ultra-low budget are horror flick, Saw. The reviews are decided mixed with a definitely split between the Cream of the Crop critics giving the film just 38% positive while the Run of the Mill reviewers were more generous. A film being described as 'More bloody than The Passion of the Christ' by some reviewers, it should bring in as much during its opening weekend as it was expected to bring in during its entire run. In my defense, when I predicted $15 million total, the film wasn't expected to open in more than 2000 theatres.

Shark Tale will probably be hurt the most with Halloween, but it will still bring in enough to beat I, Robot on the weekly charts. Just south of $9 million this weekend will also be enough to keep the film in the top five. However, with the opening of The Incredibles just a week away, this will be the last weekend it will be able to make that claim.

Without a large boost to its theatre count, Shall We Dance? won't be able to hold up this week as well as it did last week. Regardless, a weekend haul of just over $5 million will put it well on its way to matching original expectation.

I Huckabees see its theatre count expand again, but by a much smaller amount. It should be enough for it to stick around in the top ten for one more weekend.

None of these films interest you? You could check out Saturday's sneak peak of Finding Neverland. The film will play in just over 900 theatres, which is a higher theatre count than I had originally expected the film to have when it opens in a couple of weeks. Might have to readjust my prediction for the upcoming November preview.

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Filed under: Shark Tale, The Grudge, Ray, Shall We Dance?, Saw, Finding Neverland, I Heart Huckabees