Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Aug. 22: Scares Beat Laughs

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Aug 22, 2004 | 2:22pm EDT

Shoddy scares beat out cheap laughs at the box office this weekend as the summer movie season--and box office dollars--began to wind down.

Exorcist: The Beginning, the prequel to William Friedkin's 1973 hit horror The Exorcist, took the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend as expected with $18.1 million, while its only competitor in wide release, the buddy comedy Without a Paddle, followed in second place with a tepid $13.7 million.

Despites its not-so-thrilling opening weekend, Exorcist: The Beginning debuted more strongly than other films in the Exorcist franchise, including The Exorcist III, which opened to $9.3 million in 1990, and Exorcist II: The Heretic, which premiered with $6.7 million in 1977.

The original Exorcist, which was reissued in 2000 in a director's cut and opened with $8.1 million, has gone on to gross $204.3 million, including all re-issues.

In addition to The Exorcist, two previously limited releases films impacted the box office this weekend: Open Water, which registered at No. 5 with $11.7 million, and Garden State, which dug into ninth place with $3.2 million.

This week also saw the opening of Nicotina, Latino film company Arenas Entertainment’s first nationwide release, starring Y Tu Mama Tambien’s Diego Luna. The film, which debuted in 96 theaters and grossed $485,000, was Mexico's top-grossing film last year.

This week, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $102.8 million, down 16.37 percent from last weekend's $123 million take, but up 21.27 percent from last year's draw of $84.8 million.

The top three films at the box office this time last year were New Line's R-rated Freddy vs. Jason, which took the No. 1 spot in its second week with $13.1 million in 3,014 theaters, averaging $4,364 per theater; Sony's PG-13 S.W.A.T., which took second in its third week with $10.5 million in 3,204 theaters, averaging $3,303 per theater; and Buena Vista's R-rated Open Range, which came in third in its second week with $9.4 million in 2,163 theaters, averaging $4,383 per theater.

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

No. 1: Exorcist: The Beginning (Warner Bros., R)

Gross: $18.1 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,803

Per-theater average: $6,484

No. 2: Without a Paddle (Paramount, PG-13)

Gross: $13.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,730

Per-theater average: $5,018

No. 3: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (Buena Vista, G)

Gross: $13.1 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,490 (+18)

Per-theater average: $3,782

Cume to date: $61.3 million

No. 4: Alien vs. Predator (20th Century Fox, R)

Gross: $12.5 million (-67%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,401 (+6)

Per-theater average: $3,675

Cume to date: $63 million

No. 5: Open Water (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $11.7 million (Expanded)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,709 (+2,654)

Per-theater average: $4,337

Cume to date: $14.8 million

No. 6: Collateral (DreamWorks, R)

Gross: $10.5 million (-35%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,029 (-176)

Per-theater average: $3,466

Cume to date: $70.1 million

No. 7: The Bourne Supremacy (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $6.6 million (-23%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 2,532(-444)

Per-theater average: $2,607

Cume to date: $150.6 million

No. 8: The Manchurian Candidate (Paramount, R)

Gross: $4.2 million (-30%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1,920 (-692)

Per-theater average: $2,188

Cume to date: $54.7 million

No. 9: The Village (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $ 3.6 million (-49%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,249 (-893)

Per-theater average: $1,635

Cume to date: $107 million

No. 10: Garden State (Fox Searchlight, R)

Gross: $3.2 million (+131%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 652 (+477)

Per-theater average: $4,908

Cume to date: $6.6 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Nicotina (Arenas Entertainment, R)

Gross: $485,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 96

Per-theater average: $5,052

Bright Young Things (ThinkFilm, NR)

Gross: $53,500

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3

Per-theater average: $17,833

Rosenstrasse (Samual Goldwyn, PG-13)

Gross: $50,300

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 10

Per-theater average: $5,052

Mean Creek (Paramount Classics, R)

Gross: $30,236

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 4

Per-theater average: $7,559

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