Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, July 4: Fourth of July Weekend Goes to 'War'

By:
Jul 04, 2005 | 12:51pm EDT

There's nothing like spending Fourth of July watching an alien invasion try to take over America.

Moviegoers did just that this holiday weekend, propelling War of the Worlds to the top spot with a four-day total of $77.6 million.

The Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise creepy alien blockbuster now stands as the second best Fourth of July opener ever, behind last year's Spider-Man 2, which holds the record with a four-day total of $115.8 million.

Despite its strong debut, Worlds wasn't able to boost the box office slump. For the year, revenues are down about 7 percent, while factoring in higher ticket prices, admissions are off 10 percent. The longer the slump drags on, the harder it gets for Hollywood to dig itself out of that revenue hole, Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press.

"There's a spotlight on the slump and people's dissatisfaction about going to the movies. That negative perception can create a negative reality," Dergarabedian said. "It also gives people the opportunity to vent all the reasons they don't like going to movies, whether it's high ticket prices or the costs at the concession stand. So they feel validated in that by the slump."

In this four-day weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $160 million, down 24.80 percent from last year's draw of $212.8 million. However, in the three-day totals, the top 12 films grossed an estimated $132.3 million, up 12.48 percent from last weekend's $117.6 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Sony Pictures PG-13 rated Spider-Man 2, which opened in the No. 1 spot with $115.8 million in 4,152 theaters, averaging $27,894 per theater; Lions Gate's R-rated Fahrenheit 9/11, which dropped to second place in its second week with $22 million in 1,725 theaters, averaging $12,769 per theater; and Sony Pictures PG-13 rated White Chicks, which dropped to third place in its second week with $11.5 million in 2,800 theaters, averaging $4,123 per theater.

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

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES: 4-Day Totals

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: War of the Worlds (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $77.6 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,908

Per-theater average: $19,857

Cume to date: $113.2 million (opened Wednesday)

No. 2: Batman Begins (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $18.6 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,765 (-93)

Per-theater average: $4,963

Cume to date: $154.1 million

No. 3: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $12.7 million (-39%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,985 (-280)

Per-theater average: $4,255

Cume to date: $146 million

No. 4: Bewitched (Sony Pictures., PG-13)

Gross: $10.8 million (-55%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,188 (+14)

Per-theater average: $3,388

Cume to date: $40.3 million

No. 5: Herbie: Fully Loaded (Buena Vista, G)

Gross: $10.5 million (-32%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,521 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $2,984

Cume to date: $36.8 million

No. 6: Madagascar (DreamWorks, PG)

Gross: $7 million (-27%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 2,526 (-422)

Per-theater average: $2,771

Cume to date: $172.4 million

No. 7: Rebound (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $6 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,464

Per-theater average: $2,435

No. 8: Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $5 million (-34%)

Weeks opened: 7

Theaters: 1,759 (-612)

Per-theater average: $2,842

Cume to date: $366.4 million

No. 9: The Longest Yard (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $3.5 million (-47%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 1,790 (-726)

Per-theater average: $1,969

Cume to date: $148.2 million

No. 10: George A. Romero's Land of the Dead (Universal, R)

Gross: $3.2 million (-74%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,253 (+4)

Per-theater average: $1,420

Cume to date: $16.7 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Undead (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $10,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2

Per-theater average: $5,000

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