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Head of State the Head of the Class

March 31st, 2003

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Head of State and Bringing Down the House battled for top stop at the box office this weekend, while the two other new releases faired poorly.

Head of State came in first with $13.5 million, a good figure when you consider its relatively small budget and the small number of theatres it was playing in. With reasonable CinemaScores, this film should have reasonable legs - nothing amazing, but enough to make the studio heads happy. Chris Rock’s first attempt at directing has done significantly better than most analysts predicted and should lead to more opportunities to direct in the future.

Bringing Down the House failed to become the first film to win the weekend for weeks in a row since The Fellowship of the Ring. However, it was able to squeak over the $100 million mark by mere thousands. It is only the second film release this year to do so, after How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days did it on Saturday. And it reached the mark in less than half the time.

The Core came in third with only $12.0 million, which is nothing short of a disaster. Its estimated $70 million production and $30 million Print and Advertising budgets means this movie will end up costing Paramount a bundle. This movie failed to live up to analysts' predictions and its chances of sticking around in the top ten for more than one more week are minimal.

Also failing to live up to expectations was Basic, which could only muster $11.5 million. While cheaper than The Core, it still won't see a profit. In fact, after factoring in the exhibitor's share, the domestic box office probably won't cover John Travolta's salary. Expect Basic to lose more than half its box office next weekend before dropping out of the top ten.

Chicago re-entered the top 5 after its big win at the Oscars last week. Its box office climbed slightly to $7.2 million due in part to the increase in theatre count. However, it only increased by about 150 theatres, not the 300 - 400 predicted after its 6 Oscar wins last Sunday. With two of the three openers this week ready for a collapse at the box office, and none of next week's opening films creating much of a buzz, Chicago could stay in the top five for another week.

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Filed under: Chicago, Bringing Down the House, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Head of State, The Core, Basic