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Nemo Takes Top Spot, Bruce Stays Almighty

June 2nd, 2003

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For the first time in 2003, the weekend box office totals were significantly above the same week last year. The total box office for the top ten was up nearly 45% from 2002 year. This helped put May in the record books as the best month in box office history. But, even after May's record-breaking performance, 2003 is still behind 2002's total for the year to date.

Opening in first place, with a record weekend for both Computer Animation and a studio best for Pixar was Finding Nemo. The Albert Brooks fish tale earned $70.3 million at the box office, and if the stellar reviews and past Pixar performances are any indications, this movie could pull in close to $300 million domestically, and a little more than that internationally.

Bruce Almighty came in second, and did so with a smaller drop off than expected. $37.3 million was only a 45% decline, which is very good considering the huge opening weekend take and the post-holiday dip. Along the way Bruce Almighty became the largest grossing comedy of the year after crossing the $100 million mark on Thursday.

Third place went to the second of three wide releases this weekend. The Italian Job grabbed up $19.5 million, on par with predictions. Surprisingly good reviews could give this movie legs. However, with a $60 million production budget, and an advertising budget close to half that it won’t see a profit in the home market.

Continuing to drop faster than expected is The Matrix Reloaded, with $15.7 million, down nearly 58% over last weekend. The movie seems to be suffering from The Empire Strikes Back effect, that is to say it doesn't have the novelty of the first movie, and doesn't have the satisfying conclusion of the third movie. Speaking of Star Wars, The Matrix Reloaded is now just a few hundred thousand above Attack of the Clones' pace, despite having a $24 million lead after opening weekend. It will take a surge just before the release of Matrix Revolutions to push this film above $300 million.

Daddy Day Care was able to stay in the top five one last week with a $5.7 million dollar performance. The movie now has made a little more than $80 million in four weeks, and could have enough gas in the tank to cross $100 million.

Opening with a little weaker box office than predicted, but a spot higher was Wrong Turn. $5.2 million is not a lot of money for an opening weekend, but considering a budget of only $10 - $13 million, it should be enough to pull a profit from the home market. The reviews for Wrong Turn were not as low as one might have expected, getting a 50% score from the run-of-the-mill Internet reviewers. However, of the Cream-of-the-crop reviews, of which only four even bothered to review the movie, none of them gave it a positive review.

Coming in less than $100,000 behind in sixth place was X-Men 2 with $5.1 million. The mutant movie sequel just failed to cross the $200 million dollar mark but should do that by Tuesday. That total is enough to pay off the production budget, but it will take a bit more to make a profit domestically. However, add in its impressive international numbers and X-Men 2 has made Fox very happy.

The second Albert Brooks movie in the charts, The In-Laws, fell to eighth place with $3.7 million. It had one of the best drop-offs of the week, but that wasn’t good enough to save it: $14.5 million after two weeks is still a disappointment.

Down With Love dropped faster than predicted with only $1.6 million. Only $17.2 million after three weeks of wide release is quite a shock considering the talent attached to this film.

Rounding out the top ten is The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which was only able to grab $1.2 million this weekend and fell just shy of $40 million total. Fortunately, not only will it cross that mark before long; it will also have covered its total budget as well.

See the full weekend chart

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Filed under: The Matrix Reloaded, X2, The Italian Job, Daddy Day Care, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, The In-Laws, Down with Love, Wrong Turn