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Very Crowded Weekend With Five New Releases

September 19th, 2003

Last week we had three wide releases, all of them getting positive reviews. This week we have an absurd five wide releases and all of them are getting negative reviews.

Underworld has the best chance to get ahead of the pack and take top spot. The Vampires vs. Werewolves movies should take top spot with about $21 million, which is nearly the same as its production budget of $23 million. On the down side, reviews are bad currently at only 31%, so its legs at the box office are in question.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico has already beaten the combined gross of the previous two movies in the El Mariachi Trilogy series in just 6 days. And one day later it topped its own production budget, so to say Robert Rodriguez's movie is a success is an understatement. This week it will drop to second place with $14 million, but at this point it's all gravy anyway.

This time last year Barbershop surprised box office analysts by opening with $20 million in only 1,600 theatres. This year The Fighting Temptations hope to do the same. Unfortunately its reviews are much weaker, (45% compared to Babershop's 85%) and Cuba Gooding Jr. doesn't have the same appeal in the urban market as Ice Cube, (it's been said that in 10 years when Bringing Down the House is remade Cuba Gooding Jr. will be playing Steve Martin's part.) An opening weekend of $12 million and a third place finish should be in line with the studio's expectations.

Seconhand Lions is the only movie opening wide this week that even flirted with positive reviews. During the week it had 62% positive, but has since dropped to 56% positive. Still, that is the best numbers of any wide release this week, and it will be playing in just over 3,000 theatres. However, this is a movie that will have to rely on long legs to get anywhere. $11 million opening will leave the studio hoping for enough legs to get some Oscar attention.

Fifth place will be close with both Matchstick Men and Cold Creek Manor coming up with $9 million. Cold Creek Manor has the slight edge in the race, but it also has the weakest reviews of the week and a genre that usually spells poor legs at the box office. So even if it wins the close race this weekend, it will drop much farther next weekend.

The last movie opening wide this week is Anything Else, but at only 1,033 theatres it is stretching the definition of, 'wide release.' Woody Allen has been consistent, with many of his recent movies opening in just enough theatres to be considered wide, barely making the top ten and before disappearing from theatres a few weeks later. This movie should play a similar role at the box office, but with Woody Allen only playing a supporting role to younger stars we might see a stronger than expected performance at the box office. Reviews are mixed, currently at exactly 50%, so $3.5 million this week is expected, but whether it follows the rest of the script is unknown.

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Filed under: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Underworld, Secondhand Lions, Matchstick Men, The Fighting Temptations, Cold Creek Manor, Anything Else