Follow us on

The Core Ready for Weekend Win?

March 28th, 2003

Buy this poster at

After 3 weeks of box office domination by an escapist comedy, an escapist adventure movie looks set to take over the box office crown. The Core contains all the elements needed for box office success - special effects, heroism, tough but beautiful women, tough but sensitive men, and a story line that bears almost no relation to reality. A popcorn-muncher's dream.

Movie theaters figured out this is the kind of entertainment people are looking for right now, and it's booked in 3,017 theaters this weekend, which should give it a strong opening. Mission to Mars earned $22 million on its opening weekend in March, 2000 in 3,054 theaters, and I'm projecting a $20 million debut for The Core (add a little for ticket inflation, take a little for the generally depressed market at the moment).

Basic is the latest war movie to hit theaters, and looks headed for modest opening numbers, and terrible numbers in the weekends to follow. I'm projecting a $13 million opening, and a rapid decline to follow.

The final wide release this weekend is the Chris Rock comedy Head of State, which will unspool in a fairly limited 2,151 theaters. That suggests an opening of no more than $6 million, although it could get a minor boost from being a comedy - a genre that people seem to be seeking out at the moment.

Among the returning movies, Bringing Down the House should manage around $11 million, and take 3rd in the chart. Dreamcatcher will drop sharply, to around $7 million, giving Chicago a shot at 4th place - it is running at around a 10% increase from last week right now, boosted by its Oscar wins, and should take close to $7 million over the weekend.

RankMovieTheatersChangeWeeks in
1Core, The3,017New1Paramount
2Dreamcatcher2,945n/c2Warner Bros.
3Bringing Down the House2,910+394Buena Vista
5Agent Cody Banks2,786-5833MGM
7View from the Top, A2,508n/c2Miramax
8Hunted, The (2003)2,244-2733Paramount
9Head of State2,151New1Dreamworks
10Piglet's Big Movie2,084n/c2Buena Vista

441 + 1 = 1118New1Eros
52Assassination Tango7New1MGM/UA
54Stevie4New1Lions Gate
55Raising Victor Vargas2New1Gold Circle/IDP
56Fellini: I’m a Born Liar (Fellini: Sono un Gran Bugiardo)1New1First Look
57Unknown Pleasures (Ren Xiao Yao)1New1New Yorker
58Good Old Naughty Days, The1New1Strand

Estimated Theater Counts for Next Week's Openers

What a Girl Wants2,600Warner Bros.
Phone Booth2,500Fox Searchlight
Man Apart, A2,400New Line
DysFunkTional Family600Miramax
Cowboy Bebop19Destination/Gold Circle
Guys, The15Focus Features
Good Thief, The6Fox Searchlight
Cet Amour-La (That Love)2New Yorker
Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono)1New Yorker
Under the Skin of the City (Zie-e Poost-e Shahr)1Magnolia

See the full theater count chart

Filed under: Chicago, Bringing Down the House, Head of State, Dreamcatcher, The Core, Basic