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Single Sequel set to open on Slowest Long Weekend of the Year

August 29th, 2003

Traditionally, the Labor Day long weekend is the slowest long weekend of the year. And this year looks to be no exception. Only one new movie is opening, however, The Italian Job is expanding to over 1900 theatres in a push to reach the $100 million milestone. Like last week, expect limited releases to get a boost from weak wide releases.

Finishing first will be no problem for Jeepers Creepers 2, the real question is whether it will beat the original. Earlier this summer it would have been a forgone conclusion that the sequel would open bigger, and drop faster, than the original. But lately that hasn't always been the case. Reviews for Jeepers Creepers 2 are bad, currently a little more than half what the original got. Added in sequel burn out and you get $13 million Friday to Sunday and $16 for the long weekend.

I know Freaky Friday finished fourth last week, but by Thursday it had risen to 2nd place. Add in the family friendly nature and this movie should benefit the most from the Labor Day long weekend. $8 million for Friday to Sunday and $10 million overall.

Coming in third for the third week in a row will be Open Range. Targeted at a more mature audience, this movie will also benefit more from the long weekend than other movies coming in virtual tie with Freaky Friday. $8 million for Friday to Sunday and $10 million overall.

S.W.A.T. has been in first place on the daily charts since Wednesday, but several other movies have been gaining on it during the week. So it will drop to fourth for the weekend, but the $7 million / $9 million it will earn will be enough to push it over the $100 million mark.

Returning to the top five after two weeks at number 6 is Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. At the beginning of the week it was more than $500 thousand out of top spot, but by Thursday it was only a little more than $100 thousand and comfortably in the top five. And even without a long weekend Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the black Peal had held up well at the box office. So expect it to do even better this weekend. $6 million Friday to Sunday and $8 million over the long weekend.

Three other movies are trying for the $100 million club this weekend.

After last weekend, Charlie's Angels: Full throttle had only $500,000 to reach the milestone, and even battle mid-week numbers would have cut that in half by Thursday. After taking into account the drop of 40% of its theatre count this weekend it should still make the grade by Monday.

The Italian Job is just a little more than $3 million away and this weekend it expands to over 1900 theatres. That gives it an outside shot at $100 million this weekend, but even if it just cuts the gap in half it should reach it by the end of next weekend.

Lastly, Seabiscuit has made more than $95 million, including more than $6 million last weekend. Giving its strong legs and the long weekend it has a very good chance at $100 million by Monday as well.

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Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Seabiscuit, S.W.A.T., Freaky Friday, The Italian Job, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Open Range, Jeepers Creepers II