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Leftovers for Thanksgivings

December 1st, 2003

While all but one for the movies opening over the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend failed to make a big splash at the box office, the holdovers picked up the slack. The extra helpings of family films helped this Thanksgiving weekend 7% up from last year for the 3-day weekend. But a weak Wednesday / Thursday lead to a 6% drop for the 5-day weekend. The mixed results sent 2003's box office a little further behind 2002.

Note: The 5-Day top ten is posted at the bottom of the page.

The Cat in the Hat rebounded from a bad Thursday to take the weekend by the narrowest of margins. $24.5 million was less than 1% above second place. However, its 36% drop was the largest in the top ten, which is very surprising given its young demographic and on a holiday to boot. Compared to The Grinch, which dropped less than 7%, and The Cat in the Hat will have very short legs. $100 million will be the last milestone for this one.

The lowered expectations of Friday's prediction turn out to be right on track for The Haunted Mansion. However, with only $24.3 million, the studio has to be disappointed. Reviews were even worse at just just 15% positive. The only over inflated number associated with The Haunted Mansion is its budget, $90 million to make and another $30 to $40 million to advertise.

Elf easily had the best week to week performance gaining nearly 16% from last weekend. However, it was unable to move up the charts sticking at number 3. Adding another $21.6 million to its total of $129 million, Elf is the big hit of season. And, it's doing it with a production budget a third of either two films above it on this week's chart.

Gothika managed to hold off Bad Santa for fourth spot and with another $12.9 million at the box office it has now earned slightly more than it cost to make. However, baring a better than expected international run the studio will have to wait till the home market to see a profit on this one.

Bad Santa was the perfect movie for all those who hate Christmas, or at least hate the over exposure it gets. (You should not see Christmas decorations for sale before Halloween, and certainly not before Labor Day like I saw in one store.) And by earning $12.3 million in just 2005 theatres, it showed there's a lot of us out there. It was also the best reviewed new movie this week and should easily surpass its combined production and P&A budget before its domestic run is through.

Master and Commander: Far Side of the World held up ok for the holiday, but was still unable to stay in the top 5 with $12.0 million. Unless this one becomes the darling of the international market, Fox will have to swallow a large chuck of its nearly $200 million total budget.

Disappointing is the only way to describe The Missing's debut. With just over $10.8 million compared to a $65 million production budget, it is well below studio expectations. And critically it doesn't get much better with reviews that are only marginally above average.

Very weak box office, absolutely terrible reviews and a nine figure budget. Timeline crashed into theatres with just $8.4 million and should quickly disappear from theatres.

Caring out its role as sleeper hit to perfect, Love Actually pulled in $8.2 million for ninth place. Next weekend only two movies open, and at least one film above it will drop dramatically. So Love Actually should get to spend another weekend in the top ten and cross $50 million.

Brother Bear was also helped out by the Thanksgiving long weekend, but $4.9 million was too little too late to help the film across $100 million.

One film not in the top ten was The Matrix Revolutions, which dropped to 11th place in only its fourth week of release. If you were to tell me this would have happened at the beginning of the year, I doubt I would have believed you.

The Top Ten for the 5-day Weekend:

  1. The Haunted Mansion: $34.0 million
  2. The Cat in the Hat: $32.9 million
  3. Elf: $31.0 million
  4. Gothika: $18.4 million
  5. Bad Santa: $16.8 million
  6. Master and Commander: Far Side of the World: $16.6 million
  7. The Missing: $15.2 million
  8. Timeline: $12.4 million
  9. Love Actually: $11.3 million
  10. The Matrix Revolutions: $6.6 million

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Filed under: Elf, The Matrix Revolutions, The Cat in the Hat, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Brother Bear, The Haunted Mansion, Bad Santa, Gothika, Love Actually, The Missing, Timeline