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Will 2004 End in a Whimper?

December 31st, 2004

It's the last day of 2004 tonight so you could either call this the last weekend of 2004 or the first weekend of 2005. There needed to be roughly $264 million in box office business since Sunday for 2004 to beat 2003, and while Monday's figures were ok, they've been slipping during the week and will most likely put 2003's $9.158 billion out of reach. As for the predictions this weekend, there should be almost no change in the top five but the overall box office should climb from last weekend.

There are two strikes against Meet the Fockers weekend chances. First of all, its mid-week numbers are the second weakest of the top ten, (the only film to lose more since Monday is The Darkness.) And secondly, New Year's Eve falls on a Friday, which will hurt the box office as well. Even so, the film should easily top last week's predictions and land at $38 million having already topped $100 million in just 8 days.

Despite having some of the best reviews in the top ten, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events plummeted last weekend to just $12.6 million. This weekend it should bounce back to $15 million, but not enough for the film to be a success as it simply cost too much. (The official budget was $100 million but cost overruns pushed the final cost much higher, perhaps as high as $150 million.)

Fat Albert could turn out to be this year's Cheaper by the Dozen, only with weaker reviews and a slower start. However, it should be inexplicably leggy earning $12 million this weekend.

The only expected change in the top five will be Ocean's Twelve's overtaking of The Aviator for fourth place. The former film's mid-week numbers have been better and should help the film earn just north of $9 million over the weekend, which is enough to push the film above $100 million so far.

On the other hand, The Aviator should finish just south of $9 million and even if it receives major Oscar buzz it will still not reach $100 million during its run.

The rest of the top ten should finish within $1 million of each other earning between $5.5 million and $4.5 million dollars in the same order as last weekend. The loan exception is the possibility that National Treasure will make a reappearance in the top ten pushing Andrew Lloyd-Webber's the Phantom of the Opera into 11th place.

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Filed under: Meet the Fockers, National Treasure, Ocean's Twelve, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Aviator, The Phantom of the Opera, Fat Albert