Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Apr. 11: "Passion" Wins Easter Weekend

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Apr 11, 2004 | 2:06pm EDT

Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ benefited from the Easter weekend, rising to the top of the box office once more with $17.1 million. The religious drama held the No. 1 spot for thee consecutive weekends after it opened on Ash Wednesday, but had since fallen in the ranks.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press Sunday the reclamation was "unprecedented."

"I've never seen that before," he said. "The Passion of the Christ is just rewriting box office history.... This is a holy day, and this movie is tailor-made for a weekend like this. It's not just a movie. It's a religious experience for many people."

The Passion of the Christ surpassed The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to become the eighth highest grossing film domestically of all time, behind Jurassic Park, which stands at $357.1 million.

Although The Passion of the Christ's take was not enough to help the weekend box office surpass the 2002 record for best overall Easter weekend, it was enough to send the competition running for cover. This week’s five new wide releases failed to make a significant dent at the box office, despite some heavy hitters, including the Bruce Willis/Matthew Perry sequel The Whole Ten Yards and director John Lee Hancock’s epic The Alamo.

After opening to mixed reviews, The Alamo tied for third place with the Cedric the Entertainer comedy Johnson Family Vacation, which opened up in only half the number of theaters. Johnson Family Vacation, however, is expected to claim the No. 3 title once the final numbers are released Monday.

Also seeing disappointing ticket sales was the family flick Ella Enchanted, which kicked off in ninth place, followed by the teen sex comedy The Girl Next Door, which debuted in the No. 10 position.

This week, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $99.99 million, down 12.52 percent from last week's $114.31 million, and up 13.01 percent from last year's $88.48 million.

Last year, Sony Pictures’ PG-13 rated comedy Anger Management debuted at No. 1 with $42.2 million at 3,551 theaters with a $11,890 per theater average; 20th Century Fox's R-rated thriller Phone Booth followed in second place with $7.6 million at 2,489 theaters with a $3,061 per theater average; and Warner Brother's PG-rated teen fare What a Girl Wants came in third place in its second week with $6.2 million at 2,964 theaters with a $2,121 per theater.

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

No. 1: The Passion of the Christ (Newmarket, R)

Gross: $17 million (+61%)

Weeks opened: 7

Theaters: 3,240 (-168)

Per-theater average: $5,274

Cume to date: $354.8 million

No. 2: Hellboy (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $11.1 million

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,043 (+15)

Per-theater average: $3,648

Cume to date: $41 million

No. 3, TIE: Johnson Family Vacation (Fox Searchlight, PG-13)

Gross: $9.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW! (opened Wed., Apr. 7)

Theaters: 1,317

Per-theater average: $6,986

Cume to date: $11.2 million

No. 3, TIE: The Alamo (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $9.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,609

Per-theater average: $3,526

No. 5: Walking Tall (MGM, PG-13)

Gross: $8.3 million (-46%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,836 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $2,927

Cume to date: $28.8 million

No. 6: Home on the Range (Buena Vista, PG)

Gross: $8.1 million(-41%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,058 (+11)

Per-theater average: $2,680

Cume to date: $27.5million

No. 7: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $8 million (-46%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,130 (-182)

Per-theater average: $2,556

Cume to date: $62.8 million

No. 8: The Whole Ten Yards (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $6.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,654

Per-theater average: $2,532

No. 9: Ella Enchanted (Miramax, PG)

Gross: $6.1 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,931

Per-theater average: $3,163

No. 10: The Girl Next Door (Twentieth Century Fox, R)

Gross: $6 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,147

Per-theater average: $2,795

OTHER OPENINGS

I'm Not Scared (Miramax, R)

Gross: $51,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 4

Per-theater average: $12,750

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