Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, April 17: Oh, the 'Horror'!

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Apr 18, 2005 | 8:58am EDT

The Amityville Horror, a supernatural yarn about a family who moves into a haunted Long Island home, terrorized moviegoers to the chilling tune of $23.3 million this weekend, making it the North American No. 1 film at the box office.

The demonic remake's victory, however, hardly comes as a surprise; it was the only new wide release opening this weekend. The thriller, which stars rising star Ryan Reynolds as family patriarch George Lutz, also debuted to a built in audience: When the original Amityville Horror starring James Brolin and Margot Kidder hit theaters in 1979, it became the then-highest-grossing independent feature film to date.

But not even the Amityville mansion's creepy satanic voices could liven up Hollywood's eight-week lackluster streak at the box office.

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $73.9 million, down 6.42 percent from last weekend's $78.9 million take, and down 13.29 percent from last year's draw of $85.2 million.

"This is a major slump," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press Sunday. "I think the industry is holding its collective breath for the turnaround. What is going to be the movie that reverses this down trend? Thankfully, summer looks really good."

Indeed. Look to Fox's much-anticipated sci-fi sequel Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, which opens nationwide May 19, to kick of a summer season loaded with premium Hollywood blockbusters, including The Longest Yard (May 27); Mr. and Mrs. Smith (June 10); Batman Begins (June 17); Bewitched, Dukes of Hazzard, and Herbie: Fully Loaded (June 24); The War of the Worlds (June 29); Fantastic Four (July 8); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (July 15); and The Bad News Bears (July 22).

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Miramax's R-rated Kill Bill Vol. 2, which debuted at No. 1 with $25.1 million in 2,971 theaters, averaging $8,450 per theater; Lion Gates' R-rated The Punisher, which opened in second place with $13.3 million in 2,649 theaters, averaging $5,223 per theater; and Fox Searchlight's PG-13 rated Johnson Family Vacation, which came in third place in its second week of release with $5.9 million in 1,326 theaters, averaging $4,487 per theater.

(This week's box office Top 10 below...)

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES:

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: The Amityville Horror (MGM, R)

Gross: $23.3 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,323

Per-theater average: $7,012

No. 2: Sahara (Paramount, PG-13)

Gross: $13.1 million (-27%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,154 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $4,153

Cume to date: $36.4 million

No. 3: Fever Pitch (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $8.8 million (-29%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,275 (+8)

Per-theater average: $2,687

Cume to date: $23.9 million

No. 4: Sin City (Dimension Films, R)

Gross: $6.6 million (-53%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,002 (-228)

Per-theater average: $2,227

Cume to date: $61.3 million

No. 5: Guess Who (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $4.9 million (-30%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,999 (-65)

Per-theater average: $1,634

Cume to date: $57.5 million

No. 6: Beauty Shop (MGM, PG-13)

Gross: $3.8 million (-44%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,260 (-399)

Per-theater average: $1,681

Cume to date: $31.2 million

No. 7: Robots (20th Century Fox, PG)

Gross: $3.5 million (-24%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 2,476 (-237)

Per-theater average: $1,434

Cume to date: $115.7 million

No. 8: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $2.8 million (-32%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,625 (-386)

Per-theater average: $1,091

Cume to date: $41.5 million

No. 9: The Pacifier (Buena Vista, PG)

Gross: $2.4 million (-23%)

Weeks opened: 7

Theaters: 2,068 (-307)

Per-theater average: $1,165

Cume to date: $103.7 million

No. 10: Upside of Anger (New Line, R)

Gross: $1.9 million (-24%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 1,166 (+15)

Per-theater average: $1,630

Cume to date: $14.9 million

OTHER OPENINGS

State Property II (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $750,000

Weeks opened: NEW! (opened Wednesday)

Theaters: 202

Per-theater average: $3,713

Cume to date: $1.09 million

Palindromes (Wellspring, NR)

Gross: $61,434

Weeks opened: NEW! (opened Wednesday)

Theaters: 7

Per-theater average: $8,776

Cume to date: $72,120 million

House of D (Lions Gate, PG-13)

Gross: $30,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2

Per-theater average: $15,000

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