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Will it be a Record Weekend for the King?

December 19th, 2003

While there are two major and a few smaller releases, only one movie is getting talked about this weekend. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King will crush all competition, but there still is some question if records can be broken and how well the other competition will fare.

There has already been a lot of talk about the box office performance of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, so there's very little that needs to be said here. Wednesday's box office was substantially bigger than expected and reviews are still amazing, (although they have dropped to 97%, lower than The Two Towers.) The long running time will start to hurt the box office this weekend as theatres can't have as many showings per screen per day, but $75 million should still be easily obtainable. With a little luck, the film could make $85 million and break The Matrix Reload's record for biggest 5 day opening. Note: This prediction was written before Thursday's numbers were known. If they deviate from predictions I will post a separate story updating the situation.

Julia Robert's stars in Mona Lisa Smile, which can most quickly be described as a female version of Dead Poets Society. Given its star-studded cast and obvious Oscar aspirations, its reviews are surprising low. Box office will also be on the low side at just $15 million; comparable to last week's winning.

Speaking of last week's winner, Something's Gotta Give will drop from first to third. But box office wise it will hold up quite well taking just under $11 million.

This week we'll see if The Last Samurai will sink or swim. If it recovers from last week's drop-off, then it should be in theatres long enough to make up most of its costs. But the film did lose almost 20% of its daily box office when The Return of the King opened, compared to just 6% for the rest of the top 10. So it will probably make only slightly more than $7 million this week and start shedding theatres next week.

Rounding out the top five will be Stuck on You, a film that had a disappointing opening last weekend. This weekend it could lose as much as 50% of its box office, but it will probably be spared that fate taking in just over $5 million.

After a successful sneak preview a few weeks back, Cheaper by the Dozen will try again this Sunday. This time it will be a wider sneak preview showing in 1200 theaters.

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Filed under: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Cheaper by the Dozen, Something's Gotta Give, The Last Samurai, Mona Lisa Smile, Stuck On You