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New Releases Open 1 - 2 - 3

April 7th, 2003

New releases took the first three places at the box office this weekend, while last weekend’s releases faired poorly in their second week. Box office was down, after climbing last week, and is now just a few million above the weakest it’s been all year. So far it has been a weak year for the movies.

In first place was Phone Booth at $15.0 million, roughly in line with predictions. The Colin Farrell suspense film had very good reviews, but poor CinemaScores. Perhaps people didn’t know what to expect before they bought their tickets. Or perhaps the real-time format was too strange. Either way, this movie won’t have the legs the studio would like. But with a production budget of $10 - 12 million, I don’t think they’ll lose any sleep over it.

What a Girl Wants came in second with $11.4 million, almost the same as Amanda Bynes’s first movie, Big Fat Liar. Reviews were not good, but the CinemaScores were excellent, getting an A+ among the target audience, and even more surprising were the good grades among men of all ages. So this movie should have legs, and $50 million should be a safe bet.

A Man Apart rounds out the three wide releases with $11.0 million, not as much as the studios would have liked, but also not the disaster that it could have been. Dreadful reviews were offset but average CinemaScores, but don’t expect A Man Apart to make back its low production budget of $36 million. (Which is low by Hollywood standards.)

Last week’s 1 - 2 comedy punch finished this week 4 - 5. Coming in fourth was Head of State with $8.6 million. That’s only a 36.5% drop, which is good, not great, but good. Bringing Down the House had its largest weekly drop, but that was still just a 33.4% drop to $8.3 million. That was good enough for fifth place and $111 million total.

The other two movies that opened last week didn’t fair so well this week. The Core lost just shy of 50% and Basic lost a little more than 53%. With only one movie opening wide next week, one or both could remain in the top ten next weekend. But that’s not a guarantee.

The only other movie to open in more than a few cities was DysFunKtional Family. The Eddie Griffin stand-up comedy movie tanked, managing only $1 million. Much less than most analysts predicted.

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Filed under: Bringing Down the House, Phone Booth, Head of State, What a Girl Wants, The Core, Basic, A Man Apart