Follow us on

Who Will Cut Down the Competition?

October 17th, 2003

This week sees the remake of a 1973 horror classic, the return of John Grisham, the not quite wide release of a docu-drama and the expansion of last week's Per Theatre Average Chart topper. With so much new, the top five will mostly be new movies with holdovers only occupying a couple of places.

Having the best shot at top spot is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a remake of the 1973 movie of the same name. First of all, the advertising campaign claims that this movie is 'inspired' by a true story, which is overstating the facts. It is inspired by real life events in the same way Who Framed Roger Rabbit is inspired by real life events. Also, these crimes involved were also the inspiration for both Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs, both of which are superior movies. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is following in a long line of low budget horror movies released this year starting with Darkness Falls in January and with the most recent example, House of the Dead, opening just last week. The most successful of these movies this year was Freddy vs. Jason and Texas Chainsaw Massacre hopes to duplicate its success. And while it is opening in roughly the same number of theatres (3016 to 3014) and has roughly the same reviews (43% to 41%), it isn't opening at an as lucrative time of the year. So look for a $22 million opening.

In the early 90's John Grisham was one of the hottest Hollywood properties. Three of the first four movie based on his novels passed $100 million at the box office, with the fourth just missing that feat. But after that, the next three movies made just over $60 million combined. The Runaway Jury is the first John Grisham movie in over five years, and granted it won't break any personal bests for him in either reviews or box office. However, it should pull in $18 million during its opening weekend and have a total closer to the first four than the last three.

The School of Rock will continue its strong performance at the box office. It will drop to third in its third week adding another $11 million to its already impressive total.

With direct competition and the lack of opening weekend hype, Kill Bill: Volume 1 will drop a little more than 50% at the box office to just under $11 million.

Rounding out the top five is Mystic River, which expanded into over 1400 theaters on Wednesday. Reviews have been great for the film and its box office should jump up to $10 million. It will need another jump in its theatre count and continued success at the box office for it to become a serious Oscar contender.

The last movie opening in more than a few cities is Veronica Guerin. Opening in less than 500 theatres to moderately positive reviews it should earn around $3 million but may or may not make the top ten.

On final note, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl should cross $300 million this weekend. It will be only the second movie to do so this year, and the 16th all time.

Submitted by:

Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Mystic River, School of Rock, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Kill Bill: Volume 1, Runaway Jury, Darkness Falls, The House of the Dead, Veronica Guerin