Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Sept. 19: A Little Slice of 'Heaven'

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Sep 18, 2005 | 5:36pm EDT

In a battle between Heaven and hell this weekend, the angels win.

The romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, opened on top with $16.5 million, forcing the courtroom-horror drama Exorcism of Emily Rose into second place with $15.3 million.

"It was sort of one of these traditional romantic comedies. Even the reviewers said it seemed like such a pat formula, but they kind of liked it," Exhibitor Relations president Paul Dergarabedian told The Associated Press, "And Reese Witherspoon is always a draw."

Although there were a number of other films opening this weekend, only a few made it to the top 10. Nicolas Cage's arms-dealing thriller Lord of War took third place with $9.2 million, while the horror flick Cry Wolf opened in fifth with $4.5 million.

Overall, box office revenue jumped an estimated 13 percent compared with the same weekend last year, continuing the upward trend in movie grosses after a dismal summer, AP reports. "The fall season is starting in a terrific fashion," Dergarabedian said. "I'm cautiously saying that we're back on track. Audiences are just finding that the studios have a lot to offer right now."

The Top 12 films grossed an estimated a four-day total of $71.2 million, up 12.75 percent from last year's draw of $63.1 million but down 3.01 percent from last weekend's $73.4 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Paramount Pictures' PG rated Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which opened at the No. 1 spot with $15.5 million in 3,170 theaters, averaging $4,915 per theater; Buena Vista PG-13 rated Mr. 3000, which debuted in second place with $8.6 million in 2,736 theaters, averaging $3,172 per theater; and Screen Gems R-rated Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which dropped to third in its second week with $8.6 million in 3,284 theaters, averaging $2,636 per theater. (Click here to read last year's box office report)

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

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES (Four-Day Totals)

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Just Like Heaven (DreamWorks, PG-13)

Gross: $16.5 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,508

Per-theater average: $4,704

No. 2: The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $15.3 million (-49%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,983 (+2)

Per-theater average: $5,129

Cume to date: $52 million

No. 3: Lord of War (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $9.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2,814

Per-theater average: $3,269

No. 4: The 40 Year-Old Virgin (Universal, R)

Gross: $5.8 million (-25%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 3,006 (+32)

Per-theater average: $1,929

Cume to date: $90.6 million

No. 5: Cry Wolf (Focus Features/Rogue, PG-13)

Gross: $4.5 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 1,790

Per-theater average: $2,543

No. 6: Transporter 2 (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $4 million (-46%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,805 (-515)

Per-theater average: $1,435

Cume to date: $36.5 million

No. 7: The Constant Gardener (Focus Features, R)

Gross: $3.6 million (-22%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 1,387 (+6)

Per-theater average: $2,664

Cume to date: $24.3 million

No. 8: Red-Eye (DreamWorks, PG-13)

Gross: $2.9 million (-35%)

Weeks opened: 5

Theaters: 2,455 (-621)

Per-theater average: $1,181

Cume to date: $55.2 million

No. 9: March of the Penguins (Warner Independent, G)

Gross: $2.5 million (-3%)

Weeks opened: 17

Theaters: 1,876 (-527)

Per-theater average: $1,362

Cume to date: $70.4 million

No. 10: The Wedding Crashers (New Line, R)

Gross: $2.5 million (-22%)

Weeks opened: 9

Theaters: 1,807 (-374)

Per-theater average: $1,399

Cume to date: $203.6 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Venom (Miramax, R)

Gross: $500,751

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 489

Per-theater average: $1,024

Proof (Miramax, PG-13)

Gross: $200,868

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 8

Per-theater average: $25,109

Thumbsucker (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

Gross: $93,579

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 9

Per-theater average: $10,398

Everything Is Illuminated (Warner Independent, PG-13)

Gross: $73,600

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 6

Per-theater average: $12,267

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