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Sequels Start off Lucrative Holiday Season

December 10th, 2004

Two movies open wide this weekend, both looking to attract the same audience. In the end both films will suffer because of this, but both films should also do well enough to earn a profit while jumpstarting the box office.

In December's Preview, I said that for Ocean's Twelve to fail to live up to the original's box office they would have to bugle the script or the ad campaign. Well, it looks like they did a little of both. Reviews are quite a bit lower than the first film's reviews, but not so bad that it indicates the film will flop. Also, while the ad campaign is effective, it isn't quite as sharp as I was anticipating. Still, the film should open bigger, barely, with $$40 million; however, sequelitis will cause the film to drop faster meaning it won't quite reach the $180 million the first film made in 2001.

Coming in a strong second will be Blade: Trinity, the last of the Blade Trilogy. The film pulled in $5.5 million on Wednesday, which was a tiny bit ahead of expectations. So even with unimpressive reviews the film should beat the original prediction by an equally tiny amount, $22 million and typical December legs should carry it over $100 million.

With not one but two new films aimed at the same target audience, National Treasure will drop to third this weekend with $10 million. The film has already earned enough to cover its production budget and will come close to showing a profit before its domestic run is over.

The Polar Express is turning into the $165 Million Engine that Could and should add another $8 million to its box office this weekend. After a very disappointing start, the film has shown incredible legs and will have mostly likely crossed $100 million yesterday, (box office figure for Thursday are not yet available.) It's the 19th film to do so this year, but it would take nearly every wide release for the rest of the year hitting $100 million for 2004 to beat 2003's record of 29.

The inexplicably popular Christmas with the Kranks continues its run to profitability by rounding out the tpo five with $7 million this weekend.

On last note, Spanglish is having a sneak peak this Saturday in just over 1100 theatres. Early reviews are mixed to poor, so getting to see it at a discount might be worth it.

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Filed under: The Polar Express, National Treasure, Christmas with the Kranks, Blade: Trinity, Spanglish