Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Oct. 5: Jack Black Rocks!

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Oct 05, 2003 | 10:25am EDT

Forget the Battle of the Bands! Moviegoers felt the noize this weekend as the musical comedy School of Rock won the battle at the box office with a tuneful $20.2 million*.

Opening to positive reviews, the Jack Black vehicle easily outperformed Out of Time, starring Oscar winner Denzel Washington. The police thriller took in a sensible $17 million to place second.

"I think it has more to do with the subject matter than the stars," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press Sunday. "School of Rock has a younger, school-age appeal. Black's like a big kid, like an Adam Sandler-type persona. Irreverent, funny, bucks the establishment. That brings in younger audiences."

Indeed. School of Rock's melodious take was also enough to make it the fifth best October opener ever, ousting the sci-fi comedy K-Pax. School of Rock follows the likes of October champ Red Dragon, which debuted in 2002 with $36.5 million; the 2000 comedy Meet the Parents, with $28.6 million; the 2002 comedy Jackass: The Movie, with $22.7 million; and the 2001 drama Training Day with $22.5 million.

Last week's box office topper, the jungle actioner The Rundown, dropped to third place with $9.7 million, followed by the sun-drenched romantic comedy Under the Tuscan Sun with $7.9 million. The family drama Secondhand Lions rounded out the Top Five with tame $5.3 million.

The Station Agent and Wonderland, which opened in limited runs in New York City and Los Angeles, also showed strong debuts with high per theater averages.

THE TOP TEN

Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated rock 'n' roll comedy School of Rock debuted at the top of the box office this week with an impressive ESTIMATED $20.2 million in 2,614 theaters, averaging $7,728 per theater.

In the film, funnyman Jack Black stars as a hell-raising guitarist who impersonates a substitute teacher and turns a class of fifth-grade high-achievers into high-voltage rock 'n' rollers.

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

MGM Pictures' R rated police thriller Out of Time premiered in second place with an ESTIMATED $17 million at 3,076 theaters, averaging $5,527 per theater.

In the film, Academy Award winner Denzel Washington plays a Florida police chief whose life unravels as he begins to investigate a brutal double homicide.

Directed by Carl Franklin, it stars Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan and Dean Cain.

Universal Pictures' PG-13 rated jungle actioner The Rundown, last week's box office champ, dropped to third place in its second weekend with an ESTIMATED $9.7 million (-47%) in 3,154 theaters (+2 theaters; $3,100 per theater). Its cume is approximately $32.7 million.

Directed by Peter Berg, it stars The Rock, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson and Christopher Walken.

Buena Vista's PG-13 rated romantic comedy Under the Tuscan Sun fell two notches to No.4 in its second week with an ESTIMATED $7.9 million (-19%) in 1,697 theaters (+471 theaters; $4,661 per theater). Its cume is approximately $20.9 million.

Directed by Audrey Wells, it stars Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Vincent Riotta and Raoul Bova.

New Line's PG rated family drama Secondhand Lions only dropped one spot to round out the Top Five in its third week with an ESTIMATED $5.3 million (-35%) in 3,032 theaters (-6 theaters; $1,773 per theater). Its cume is approximately $30.8 million.

Directed by Tim McCanlies, it stars Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.

Sony Picture's R rated supernatural thriller Underworld tumbled three positions to take sixth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $4.8 million (-49%) at 2715 theaters (-213 theaters; $1,768 per theater). Its cume is approximately $44.5 million.

Directed by Len Wiseman, it stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman.

*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.

Focus Features' R rated dramedy Lost In Translation climbed three positions to place seventh in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $4.2 million (+16%) in 864 theaters (+376 theaters; $4,393 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $14.1 million.

Directed by Sofia Coppola, it stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

Paramount Picture's PG-13 rated musical comedy The Fighting Temptations dropped three rungs to No. 8 in its third week with an ESTIMATED $3.2 million (-49%) in 1,762 theaters (-264 theaters; $1,864 per theater). Its cume is approximately $24.7 million.

Directed by Jonathan Lynn, it stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., Beyonce Knowles, Mike Epps and Steve Harvey.

Sony Pictures' R rated sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico fell three notches to ninth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $2.5 million (-49%) in 2, 097 theaters (-825theaters; $1,216 per theater). Its cume is approximately $52.9 million.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, it stars Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek and Willem Dafoe.

Buena Vista's R rated thriller Cold Creek Manor slipped two spots to round out the Top Ten in its third week with an ESTIMATED $2.5 million (-43%) at 1,398 theaters (-97 theaters; $1,290 per theater). Its cume is approximately $18.3 million.

Directed by Mike Figgis, it stars Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, Stephen Dorff and Juliette Lewis.

OTHER OPENINGS

Lions Gate Releasing's R rated biopic Wonderland premiered in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles with an ESTIMATED $90,000, averaging $18,000 per theater.

Directed by James Cox, it stars Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth, Dylan McDermott and Josh Lucas.

Miramax's R rated drama The Station Agent, meanwhile, premiered in three theaters in New York and Los Angeles with an ESTIMATED $55,500, averaging a strong $18,500 per theater.

Directed by Tom McCarthy, it stars Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson and Michelle Williams.

WEEKEND COMPARISON

The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $82.1 million, up 2.9 percent from last weekend's $79.8 million. The Top 12 movies, however, were down 18.67 percent from this time last year when they took in $101 million.

Last year, Universal's R rated thriller Red Dragon came in at No. 1 in its opening week with $36.5 million in 3,357 theaters ($10,855 per theater); Buena Vista's PG-13 rated comedy Sweet Home Alabama came in second place in its second week with $21.3 million in 3,303 theaters (+10 theaters; $6,456 per theater); and DreamWorks' PG-13 rated comedy The Tuxedo finished third in its second week with $10 million at 2,051 theaters (unchanged; $4,893 per theater).

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