Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Feb. 22: A Second "Date"

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Feb 26, 2004 | 4:03am EST

The romantic comedy 50 First Dates won the weekend box office for a second week in a row, and it had very little competition despite four new releases.

50 First Dates, which reunites The Wedding Singer lovebirds Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, debuted at No. 1 with a still endearing $21 million.

This week’s new releases, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Welcome to Mooseport, Eurotrip and Against the Ropes, were scattered throughout the Top Ten, none of them making a significant impact on the box office.

"The level of audience disinterest is pretty stunning. They're just kind of checked out right now," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press Sunday. "You had four brand-new attractions, and they really could not make a dent. If not for 50 First Dates, this would be an abysmal weekend."

Box office numbers for next week are expected to pick up, however, thanks to Mel Gibson’s controversial film The Passion of the Christ, which premieres in 2,000 theaters on Feb. 25--Ash Wednesday. The film is a depiction of the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

Evangelists say the film is the most effective tool for spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ in 2,000 years, but Jewish leaders say it's anti-Semitic propaganda that poses the greatest threat to Judeo-Christian harmony in a half-century.

This week, total ticket sales for the top 12 films were $75.1 million, down 25.58 percent from last week’s $105.9 million, and down 21.01 percent form last year’s $95.1 million.

Last year, 20th Century Fox's PG-13 rated comic book actioner Daredevil held on to the No.1 position in its second week with $18 million in 3,474 theaters (+3 theaters; $5,208 per theater average); DreamWorks’ PG-13 rated comedy Old School debuted in second place with $17.4 million at 2,689 theaters with a $6,491 per theater average; and Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated comedy How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days slipped to third in its third week with $11.5 million in 2,923 theaters (unchanged; $3,965 per theater average).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES (Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: 50 First Dates (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $21 million (-47%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,612 (+21)

Per-theater average: $11,417

Cume to date: $72.3 million

No. 2: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Buena Vista, PG)

Gross: $9.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,503

Per-theater average: $3,682

No. 3: Miracle (Buena Vista, PG)

Gross: $8 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,713 (-42 theaters)

Per-theater average: $2,949

Cume to date: $50.4 million

No. 4: Welcome to Mooseport (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,867

Per-theater average: $2,442

No. 5: Eurotrip (DreamWorks, R)

Gross: $6.6 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,512

Per-theater average: $2,627

No. 6: Barbershop 2: Back in Business (MGM, PG-13)

Gross: $6.3 million (-56%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,229 (-482)

Per-theater average: $2,826

Cume to date: $53.2 million

No. 7: Mystic River (Warner Bros., R)

Gross: $3.1 million (-15%)

Weeks opened: 20

Theaters: 1,352 (-18)

Per-theater average: $2,308

Cume to date: $79.1 million

No. 8: Against the Ropes (Paramount, PG-13)

Gross: $3 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,601

Per-theater average: $1,874

No. 9: The Butterfly Effect (New Line, R)

Gross: $2.8 million (-45%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 1,901 (-387 theaters)

Per-theater average: $1,512

Cume to date: $53.1 million

No. 10: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (New Line, PG-13)

Gross: $2.8 million (-33%)

Weeks opened: 10

Theaters: 1,407 (-256 theaters)

Per-theater average: $1,990

Cume to date: $361 million

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