Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Oct. 4: Briny "Tale" Takes Top Spot

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Oct 04, 2004 | 5:18am EDT

Shark Tale took a bite out of the competition this weekend.

The DreamWorks CGI-animated fish fable debuted at the top of the heap with a whopping $49.1 million, while the firefighting drama Ladder 49, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta, premiered in second place with $22.7 million.

Shark Tale's huge numbers bolstered the slumping box office and its take now stands as the biggest October opening ever, followed by Scary Movie 3, which opened last year with $48.1 million.

"The box-office has been flatlining for the last month. September was absolutely abysmal," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press on Sunday. "So Shark Tale and to a lesser extent Ladder 49 really jump-started the marketplace."

The indie drama Woman Thou Art Loosed, starring Kimberly Elise as a woman traumatized by childhood sexual abuse who lands on Death Row, opened at No. 6 with $2.5 million, while I Heart Huckabees, an ensemble comedy from David O. Russell (Three Kings), had a spectacular debut in limited release, taking in $300,062 in four New York City and Los Angeles theaters. The movie averaged a hefty $75,016 compared with $12,226 in 4,016 cinemas for Shark Tale.

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $104.4 million, up 77.04 percent from last weekend's $58.9 million take and up 29.58 percent from last year's draw of $80.5 million.

The top three films at the box office this time last year were: Paramount's PG-13 School of Rock which debuted at No. 1 with $19.6 million in 2,614 theaters, averaging $7,507 per theater; MGM's R-rated Out of Time, which opened in second with $16.1 million in 3,076 theaters, averaging $5,262 per theater; and Universal's PG-13 comedy The Rundown which came in at No. 3 in its second week with $9.6 million in 3,154 theaters, averaging $3,070 per theater.

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES:

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Shark Tale (DreamWorks, PG)

Gross: $49.1 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 4,016

Per-theater average: $12,226

No. 2: Ladder 49 (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $22.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,260

Per-theater average: $6,989

No. 3: The Forgotten (Sony, PG-13)

Gross: $12 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,144 (+40)

Per-theater average: $3,817

Cume to date: $38.2 million

No. 4: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Paramount, PG)

Gross: $3.3 million (-49%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,721 (-449)

Per-theater average: $1,240

Cume to date: $30.6 million

No. 5 Mr. 3000 (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $2.6llion (-49)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,239 (-497)

Per-theater average: $1,162

Cume to date: $19.1 million

No. 6: Woman Thou Art Loosed (Magnolia, R)

Gross: $2.5 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 408

Per-theater average: $6,127

No. 7: Shaun of the Dead (Focus Features, PG-13)

Gross: $2.4 million (-27%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 645 (+38)

Per-theater average: $3,765

No. 8: Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Screen Gems, R)

Gross: $2.3 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1,986 (-850)

Per-theater average: $1,158

Cume to date: $47 million

No. 9: First Daughter (20th Century Fox, PG)

Gross: $2.1 million (-46%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,280

Per-theater average: $943

Cume to date: $7.1 million

No. 10: Cellular (New Line Cinema, PG-13)

Gross: $2 million (-45%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,020 (-743)

Per-theater average: $1,002

Cume to date: $28.2 million

OTHER OPENINGS

I Heart Huckabees (Fox Searchlight, R)

Gross: $300,062

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 4

Per-theater average: $75,016

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