Box Office Analysis, Nov. 9: “Revolutions” Rules

The Matrix Revolutions expectedly took the box office this weekend–but it didn’t have the juggernaut effect studio execs were hoping for.

While the third and final installment of the Matrix trilogy scored $24.3 million on its first day of release (Wednesday), it only managed $50.1 million* over the weekend, bringing the grand total to $85.4 million. This figure is way below the $100 million predicted by insiders,Variety reports, and illustrates how the Matrix excitement seems to have died down, especially since Revolutions‘ much-hyped predecessor The Matrix Reloaded opened in May with a hefty $91.7 million weekend total and went on to gross $737.9 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing film of 2003.

“I don’t know what film could do $90 million and then repeat that with its next sequel just six months later,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press.

Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., told AP Revolutions may hold up better in subsequent weeks than Matrix Reloaded, whose grosses fell off considerably in its second weekend. Films tend to have longer shelf life over the holidays than they do in summer blockbuster season, he said.

“The story really isn’t over yet,” Fellman said. “We might not have had the same impact in the opening weekend, but you need to play this out for the next few weeks and see if we play a little catchup.”

Around the globe, however, The Matrix Revolutions broke records, as its five-day grosses totaled $204 million, making it the biggest consecutive five-day opening in motion picture history, Business reports. In an unprecedented move, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures opened Revolutions at the same moment in time in 90 different countries on Nov. 5, as well as releasing on 60 IMAX theaters worldwide.

Although Revolutions was the weekend’s clear winner, the Christmas spirit permeated the box office as well. Will Ferrell ‘s Christmas comedy Elf opened in second with a cheery $32.1 million, while the British holiday romantic comedy Love Actually, which debuted in limited theaters, came in at No. 6 with $6.6 million.

Some returning favorites included the animated Disney tale Brother Bear, now in its second week, which took third at $18.6 million, pushing the reigning champ of the past two weeks, Scary Movie 3, down to No. 4 with $11.1 million. The tearjerker Radio rounded out the top five with $7.4 million.


Warner Bros. R-rated The Matrix Revolutions topped the box office charts with an ESTIMATED $50.1 million in 3,502 theaters. Its $14,322 per theater average was the highest of any film playing wide this week. Opening Wednesday, its cume is approximately $85.4 million.

In the third installment of the Matrix trilogy, the epic war between man and machine comes to a thundering crescendo as Neo, Trinty and Morpheus do battle against their enemies, including the ultimate evil Agent Smith.

Directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, it stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving and Jada Pinkett Smith.

New Line Cinema’s delightful PG-rated Elf spread Christmas cheer at No. 2 with an ESTIMATED $32.1 million in 3,337 theaters ($9,619 per theater).

Buddy is a 6 ft. misfit who has been raised by Santa’s elves in the North Pole. Obviously different from his elf family, he ultimately finds out about his true heritage and heads to New York City to seek out his roots.

Directed by Jon Favreau, it stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen.

Buena Vista’s G-rated animated film Brother Bear took third place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $18.6 million (-4%) in 3,030 theaters (unchanged; $6,139 per theater). Its cume is approximately $44.1 million.

Directed by Aaron Blaise and Bob Walker, it features the voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, D.B. Sweeney and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Dimension Films’ PG-13-rated spoof Scary Movie 3 got knocked from first to fourth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $11.1 million (-45%) in 3,288 theaters (-217; $3,377 per theater). Its cume is approximately $93.3 million.

Directed by David Zucker, it stars Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, George Carlin and Leslie Nielsen.

*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.

Sony Pictures’ PG-13-rated drama Radio dropped one notch to fifth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $7.4 million (-23%) in 2,811 theaters (-263, $2,633 per theater). Its cume is approximately $36.3 million.

Directed by Michael Tollin, it stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris.

Universal Pictures’ R-rated romantic opus Love Actually opened in the sixth spot with an ESTIMATED $6.6 million in 576 theaters, managing a worthy $11,458 per theater average.

The film interweaves a collage of stories pertaining to that most cherished of emotions–true love–that culminates on Christmas Eve.

Directed and written by Richard Curtis, it stars Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy.

Warner Bros.’ R-rated drama Mystic River drops a spot to No. 7 in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-23%) in 1,581 theaters (+30 theaters; $3,052 per theater). Its cume is approximately $40.4 million.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Laura Linney and Marcia Gay Harden.

New Line Cinema’s R-rated horror remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre fell considerably from third place to eighth in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-56%) in 2,378 theaters (-592 theaters; $2,019 per theater). Its cume is approximately $73.2 million.

Directed by Marcus Nispel, it stars Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, Mike Vogel, Erica Leerhsen and Andrew Bryniarski.

Tying this week with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Twentieth Century Fox’s PG-13-rated courtroom thriller Runaway Jury slipped four spots to take ninth in its fourth week with also an ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-26%) in 2,133 theaters (-603; $2,250 per theater). Its cume is approximately $40.1 million.

Directed by Gary Fleder, it stars John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz.

Paramount Pictures’ PG-13-rated comedy School of Rock dropped two positions to tenth place in its ninth week with an ESTIMATED $3.1 million (-30%) in 1,982 theaters (-804 theaters; $1,589 per theater). Its cume is approximately $73.5 million.

Directed by Richard Linklater, it stars Jack Black, Joan Cusack and Michael White.


The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $146.8 million, up a whopping 62.84 percent from last weekend’s $90.2 million. The Top 12 movies were also up 13.16 percent from this time last year when they took in $129.8 million.

Last year, Universal’s R-rated 8 Mile opened in first place with $51.2 million in 2,470 theaters ($20,745 per theater); Buena Vista’s G-rated The Santa Clause 2 dropped from the first to second position in its second week with $24.7 million in 3,352 theaters ($7,379 per theater); and DreamWorks’ R-rated thriller The Ring slipped a notch in its fourth week with $15.5 million in 2,927 theaters (+119; $5,298 per theater).