Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, May 2: "Hitchhiker's" Zooms Past "XXX"

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May 02, 2005 | 8:54am EDT

The jovial The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy thumbed a ride to the top of the box office this weekend, debuting at $21.7 million.

Surprisingly, the film--adapted from the first of the late Douglas Adams' comically philosophical books about the nature of our big, old goofy universe--beat out favorite XXX: State of the Union, the action-packed sequel starring Ice Cube, which came in a disappointing third place with $13.7 million.

While reviews were mixed for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--some critics calling the movie a fitful gag reel that sapped the essence of Adams' witty prose and others finding it a refreshing dose of whimsy and irreverence--critics trashed the new XXX flick just as they did with the Vin Diesel's original. But that film did more than three times the business over opening weekend than State of the Union, opening in 2002 with $44.5 million.

"Ice Cube doesn't seem like a sweethearted dad, either, but Are We There Yet? did incredibly well," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told AP. "Maybe people just associated Vin Diesel more with that role than anybody thought."

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $84.7 million, up 3.07 percent from last weekend's $82.2 million take but down 10.16 percent from this time last year's draw of $94.3 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated Mean Girls, which debuted at No. 1 with $24.4 million in 2,839 theaters, averaging $8,606 per theater; 20th Century Fox's R-rated Man on Fire, which dropped to second place in its second week with $15 million in 2,986 theaters, averaging $5,028 per theater; and Sony Pictures' PG-13 13 Going on 30, which dropped to third place in its second week with $9.8 million in 3,453 theaters, averaging $2,860 per theater.

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

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES:

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Buena Vista, PG)

Gross: $21.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,133

Per-theater average: $6,929

No. 2: The Interpreter (Universal, PG-13)

Gross: $14.2 million (-38%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,764

Per-theater average: $5,137

Cume to date: $43.6 million

No. 3: XXX: State of the Union (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $13.7 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,480

Per-theater average: $3,937

No. 4: The Amityville Horror (MGM, R)

Gross: $8.1 million (-41%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,058 (-265)

Per-theater average: $2,649

Cume to date: $55 million

No. 5: Sahara (Paramount, PG-13)

Gross: $6 million (-34%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 3,112 (-88)

Per-theater average: $1,928

Cume to date: $57.1 million

No. 6: A Lot Like Love (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $5.2 million (-31%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,502 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $2,087

Cume to date: $14.6 million

No. 7: Kung Fu Hustle (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

Gross: $3.8 million

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,440 (-63)

Per-theater average: $1,573

Cume to date: $13.1 million

No. 8: Fever Pitch (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $3.7 million (-32%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,192 (-683)

Per-theater average: $1,711

Cume to date: $36.5 million

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

Gross: $2.6 million (-22%)

Weeks opened: 9

Theaters: 1,782 (-290)

Per-theater average: $1,487

Cume to date: $123.6 million

No. 10: Guess Who (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $2.2 million (-37%)

Weeks opened: 8

Theaters: 1,863 (-621)

Per-theater average: $1,181

Cume to date: $65.4 million

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