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Matrix Opens Huge, But not Huge Enough

November 7th, 2003

Three new movies are opening wide this weekend each with their own target audience. The Matrix, which opened on Wednesday, counter programming in the form of Elf and pushing the envelope of the definition wide is Love Actually.

The Matrix Revolutions opened worldwide on Wednesday, and while the box office numbers are huge they are not the record breakers hoped for by the studio. Domestically, it opened with $24.3 million in 3,502 theatres, nearly $7000 per theatre. However, even with that figure it only came in 3rd for biggest Wednesday opening after Star Wars: Phantom Menace and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Combined with the sharp drop-off for Thursday and the less than impressive reviews and suddenly The Matrix Revolution's weekend doesn't look as strong as it did earlier in week. $65 million and crossing the $100 mark by Sunday. That would normally be great, but expectations for the final two installments for The Matrix Trilogy were just too great.

Also opening in more than 3000 theatres is the Christmas comedy Elf. Before I go into my prediction I have to say something. Christmas is in December, late December. This tread of extending Christmas earlier and earlier has to stop. This year when I went to pick up a party platter for my birthday party and I saw Christmas decorations … My birthday's in August! It's no wonder that by the time Christmas finally arrives I want nothing to do with the holidays anymore. Now that that's off my chest, back to the prediction. Will Ferrell is quickly becoming on of Hollywood's most in demand comic actors, but he's never been asked to carry a movie like this before. He had a very important part in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and was one of three leading men in Old School, but Elf is his movie. And if the reviews are correct, he's more than up to the job. Look for $24 million this weekend with $100 million run not out of the question.

It looks like Brother Bear's second weekend won't top the first, despite having one extra day to do it. Look for just $17 million, a very disappointing result for Disney.

Scary Movie 3 will continue its quick drop at the box office again losing more than 50% at the box office. Earning just $9 million during its third week will leave it one more week away from hitting $100 million.

Holding on to its audience will be a much easier task for Radio. But even so, it will have a tough time sticking in the top five with $6 million.

The last film to open in more than a handful of cities is the romantic comedy Love Actually. This is the first time directing effort from screenwriter Richard Curtis. Richard Curtis has had a lot of success writing comedies like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones Diary. This success has been greater internationally where the previous films I mentioned have earned an average of $200 million. Love Actually isn't getting the quite the same warm reception by the critics as those films, but 68% positive is still quite good. Look for an opening week per theatre average of about $10,000 for a total box office just shy of $6 million. And over the next few weeks it should expand into many more theatres.

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Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Elf, The Matrix Revolutions, Scary Movie 3, Brother Bear, Love Actually, Radio