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How Huge is The Matrix Reloaded?

May 15th, 2003

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The Matrix Reloaded opens today, and expectations are huge, both critically and at the box office.

It is safe to say The Matrix Reloaded will win the weekend, the real question is by how much? If it doesn’t make more today (Thursday) than the first made during its opening weekend (roughly 28 million) it will be seen as a disappointment. And if it doesn’t break $100 million by Saturday or Sunday at the latest, 2003 will fall further behind 2002 as far as the box office goes. There are a couple of warning signs which suggest Matrix Reloaded won’t be able to handle the pressure. Critically the movie is getting mostly great reviews, but its 78% positive is nearly a full 10 percentage points below the original. Compare that to X-Men 2 which beat the original’s reviews by 7 percentage points. Also, the extreme hype has the potential to cause backlash, and there is some evidence that this is happening. These signs aside, look for Matrix Reloaded to help this weekend be at least on pace with last year.

Dropping to second place is X-Men 2, which currently sits just $2 million behind the original’s total box office. Weekday tracking shows an even larger drop-off is in store for this weekend. However, that could be mitigated by Matrix overflow. X-Men 2 should make roughly $20 million this weekend.

Weekday tracking for Daddy Day Care suggests that a 50% second week drop off could be in the cards. Best case scenario still sees it lose more than 40%, which is not good for a family movie.

Coming in fourth will be the second new opener this week, Down With Love. Opening in only 2,200 theaters and with only moderately good reviews it should grab a respectable $6000 per theater for a total of $13 million. Enough to make the studio happy, but not enough to start a new trend.

In fifth place should be The Lizzie McGuire Movie, with an estimated $4 million. The studios share of the box office is already enough to pay for the production costs, and the P & A budget should be covered in a few more weeks.

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Filed under: The Matrix Reloaded, X2, Daddy Day Care, Down with Love