Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Mar. 28: Zoinks! "Scooby" Defeats Zombies

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Mar 29, 2004 | 3:43am EST

It was a "Doo" or die weekend at the box office as Scooby and the gang fought and easily defeated last week's champs, the flesh-eating zombies of Dawn of the Dead.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed's $30.7 million take propelled it to the No. 1 position at the box office and made it the fifth best March opening ever, behind Ice Age, Blade II, Liar Liar, Bringing Down the House and The Panic Room.

Scooby-Doo 2 is a sequel to Scooby-Doo, a live action adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera half-hour animated series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, which aired on ABC from 1969-74. It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini. The original Scooby opened in June 2002 to the tune of $54 million and went on to gross $153 million at domestic box offices.

Warner Bros. released the film in March rather than the summer blockbuster season to avoid going head-to-head with its own highly anticipated sequel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which comes out in June, and DreamWorks' Shrek 2, which hits theaters in May.

Dan Fellman, Warner head of distribution, told The Associated Press Sunday the sequel will likely have a longer shelf life as schools let out for Easter and spring break over the coming weeks.

The new Tom Hanks comedy The Ladykillers, meanwhile, was runner up with $13 million-- the best opening ever for a Coen brothers film, while Ben Affleck's first feature film since the Gigli debacle, Jersey Girl, opened reasonably well at No. 5 with $8.2 million.

This week, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $109.4 million, up a slim 1.05 percent from last week's $108.3 million, and up 23.16 percent from last year's $86.7 million.

Last year, DreamWorks's PG-13 comedy Head of State debuted at No. 1 with $13.5 million at 2,151 theaters with a $6,278 per theater average; Buena Vista's PG-13 rated laffer Bringing Down the House came in second place in its fourth week with $12.4 million at 2.910 theaters with a $4,289 per theater average; and Paramount's PG-13 rated sci-fi thriller The Core debuted in third with $12 million in 3,017 theaters with a $3,995 per theater average.

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

No. 1: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $30.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,312

Per-theater average: $9,283

No. 2: The Ladykillers (Buena Vista, R)

Gross: $13 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,583

Per-theater average: $8,212

No. 3: The Passion of the Christ (Newmarket, R)

Gross: $12.4 million (-36%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 3,214 (-36)

Per-theater average: $3,877

Cume to date: $315 million

No. 4: Dawn of the Dead (Universal Pictures, R)

Gross: $10.3 million (-31%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,778 (+3)

Per-theater average: $3,765

Cume to date: $43.8 million

No. 5: Jersey Girl (Miramax, PG-13)

Gross: $8.3 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,520

Per-theater average: $5,462

No. 6: Taking Lives (Warner Bros., R)

Gross: $6.5 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,705 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $2,414

Cume to date: $11.4 million

No. 7: Starsky & Hutch (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $6.2 million (-40%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,985 (-200)

Per-theater average: $2,106

Cume to date: $76.8 million

No. 8: Hidalgo (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $5.4million (-35%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,667 (-262)

Per-theater average: $2,037

Cume to date: $56.5 million

No. 9: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Focus Features, PG-13)

Gross: $5.4 million (-34%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 1,357 (+4)

Per-theater average: $3,997

Cume to date: $16.7 million

No. 10: The Secret Window (Sony, PG-13)

Gross: $5.4 million (-42%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,912 (-106)

Per-theater average: $1,854

Cume to date: $40.6 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Never Die Alone (Fox Searchlight, R)

Gross: $3 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,160 (-433)

Per-theater average: $2,651

Dogville (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $90,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 9

Per-theater average: $10,000

Ned Kelly (Focus Features, NR)

Gross: $42,700

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 22

Per-theater average: $1,941

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