Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, July 18: 'Chocolate' Sweetens the Deal

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Jul 24, 2005 | 6:50am EDT

Moviegoers got dipped in Chocolate this weekend.

The confectionary marvel Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, starring the ever-quirky Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, debuted in the top spot with a sugar-coated $55.3 million, while the hilarious Wedding Crashers, starring the Frat Pack duo Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, opened in second with a matrimonial $32.2 million. The two newcomers bumped last week's champ, Fantastic Four, to third with a still-incredible $22.7 million.

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory--Depp's biggest debut to date, ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean, which took in $46.6 in 2003--locked up the family audience, while the R-rated Wedding Crashers gave adult crowds a dose of raunchier humor. Distributor New Line had briefly mulled whether to tone the movie down to a PG-13 rating, but test audiences gave the racy film a thumbs up, Russell Schwartz, the studio's head of marketing told AP.

"There's been such a move toward more sanitized movies, so I think the R rating actually helped," Schwartz said. "And it's not a hard R. I think it of more as a soft R. It's a movie that wears the R on its sleeve very proudly."

The box office grosses also continued their upward swing for the second week in a row, pleasing the number watchers greatly. "People are just waiting for the right kinds of movies to come along, and they will show up in big numbers," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press.

The Top 12 films grossed an estimated $151.3 million, up 7.51 percent from last year's draw of $140.8 million and also up 8.52 percent from last weekend's $139.5 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: 20th Century Fox's PG-13 I, Robot, which opened in the No. 1 spot with $52.1 million in 3,420 theaters, averaging $15,257 per theater; Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated Spider-Man 2, which dropped to second place in its third week with $24.7 million in 4,058 theaters, averaging $6,105 per theater; and DreamWorks' PG-13 rated Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, which dropped to third place in its second week with $13.8 million in 3,104 theaters, averaging $4,462 per theater.

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

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $55.3 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,770

Per-theater average: $14,690

No. 2: The Wedding Crashers (New Line, R)

Gross: $32.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,925

Per-theater average: $11,017

No. 3: Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $22.7 million (-59%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,619 (+17)

Per-theater average: $4,028

Cume to date: $165.8 million

No. 4: War of the Worlds (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $15 million (-51%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,724 (-186)

Per-theater average: $4,028

Cume to date: $192.1 million

No. 5: Batman Begins (Warner Bros., PG-13)

Gross: $5.6 million (-44%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 2,810 (-534)

Per-theater average: $2,000

Cume to date: $182.7 million

No. 6: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $5 million (-36%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 2,370 (-411)

Per-theater average: $2,131

Cume to date: $168 million

No. 7: Dark Water (Buena Vista, PG-13)

Gross: $4.4 million (-55%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,657 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $1,690

Cume to date: $18.6 million

No. 8: Herbie: Fully Loaded (Buena Vista, G)

Gross: $3.3 million (-45%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,481 (-521)

Per-theater average: $1,352

Cume to date: $55.7 million

No. 9: Bewitched (Sony Pictures., PG-13)

Gross: $2.4 million (-57%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 2,290 (-724)

Per-theater average: $1,048

Cume to date: $56.8 million

No. 10: Madagascar (DreamWorks, PG)

Gross: $2.1million (-48%)

Weeks opened: 8

Theaters: 1,779 (-383)

Per-theater average: $1,180

Cume to date: $183.8 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Happy Endings (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $235,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 52

Per-theater average: $4,519

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