Box Office News

B.O. Weekend's a 'Scream'

By:
Dec 31, 1899 | 7:00pm EST

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2000 -- The only loud noise at this weekend's box office was Dimension Films' "Scream 3," opening to a blockbuster estimated $35.20 million.

"Scream 3" accounted for about 42% of the ticket sales for key films over the weekend, living up to industry expectations reported by Hollywood.com on Friday. With its first-choice tracking score of 31% going into the weekend, the Wes Craven film was seen as likely to open to at least $30 million.

Dimension, Miramax's genre label, launched "Scream 3" to an estimated $35.20 million at 3,467 theaters ($10,152 per theater). The film's theater count set a new record for wide release, topping last summer's 3,342 theaters for Warner Bros.' "Wild Wild West." Dimension said there were 5,522 prints of the film in the marketplace.

An indication of how little business everything else in the marketplace did is that "Scream 3's" gross was about equal to the combined gross for the next 11 films on the chart.

"This is the biggest opening for Miramax and/or Dimension in the history of the company," Miramax Senior Vice President, Marketing, David Kaminow said Sunday morning. "It's the biggest February opening ever, and it actually looks like the biggest opening for any movie between January through April."

The previous record-holder was Universal's Jim Carrey starrer 'Liar Liar' at $31.4 million back in March 1997.

Who went to see the "Scream 3"?

"In terms of audience demo, it's our core 18-24," Kaminow said. "But what's interesting is the slight demographic shift in terms of the people who were 18-24 when the first movie came out four years ago (and) have followed us on the path, so we have a segment (of the audience) that's also a little higher in the 25-29 bracket than we've seen previously.

"It indicates to us that the audience has grown as the movie's grown."

Asked where it could wind up in terms of its domestic theatrical gross, Kaminow replied, "The first two did (over) $100 million. It would be wonderful if it did. This is a great start, and we'll see what happens."

"Scream 3's" per-theater average was the highest for any film playing in wide or limited release last weekend.

Directed by Wes Craven, "Scream 3" was produced by Cathy Konrad, Kevin Williamson and Marianne Maddalena. Its screenplay by Ehren Kruger is based on characters created by Williamson. It was executive produced by Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Cary Granat and Andrew Rona.

The film reunites Craven with David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox Arquette and Liev Schreiber. Also starring are Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Matt Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey, Deon Richmond, Kelly Rutherford and Patrick Warburton.

"Scream 2" opened in first place the weekend of Dec. 12-14, 1997, to $32.9 million at 2,663 theatres ($12,354 per theater). Its second weekend gross was $13.9 million, down 58%. It went on to gross about $101.3 million in domestic theaters.

The first "Scream" opened in fourth place the weekend of Dec. 20-22, 1996, to $6.4 million at 1,413 theaters ($4,497 per theater). It wound up grossing about $103 million in domestic theaters.

It was a long way down to second place, where Universal's R-rated, critically acclaimed Oscar contender "The Hurricane" was holding well, up one notch in its sixth week with a solid estimated $4.91 million (-14%) at 2,148 theaters (+13 theatres, $2,285 per theater). Its total is approximately $37.5 million.

Directed by Norman Jewison, it stars Denzel Washington as wrongly imprisoned boxing champion Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

"The word of mouth is exceptional on this film," Universal Distribution President Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning. "We were No. 3 for two weekends. Now we're No. 2.

"Granted, it's a soft marketplace except for one film, but the word of mouth does that with a picture. It will linger and linger around through the Academy Awards season."

Columbia's PG-rated family comedy "Stuart Little" finished third, up one peg in its eighth week, continuing to hold strongly with an OK estimated $4.80 million (unchanged) at 2,702 theaters (-339 theaters, $1,776 per theater). Its total is approximately $128.7 million, heading for $140 million or more in domestic theaters.

Directed by Rob Minkoff, it stars Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and Jonathan Lipnicki.

"I'd say at least $140 million," Sony Pictures Releasing President Jeff Blake said Sunday morning, when asked where the film would wind up in domestic theaters. "For the first time, we're going to have some company in the kids' market next Friday (with BV/Disney's animated "The Tigger Movie" and Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' PG-rated live action Chevy Chase comedy "Snow Day"), so it will be interesting to see how we hold up.

"Starting out on Dec. 17, at the point when 'Toy Story 2' was still strong, we managed to beat them. We sort of had our own way with the kids between Dec. 17 and today. It will be interesting to see what happens when (the two new family-appeal films arrive Friday). I think, probably, what will happen is they'll do very well, but we'll continue to play out our run. I can't see it being any less than $140 million -- maybe into the $140 millions. A lovely success story."

The film is also looking strong on the international front.

"The best news for us is every market we've opened internationally has been sensational," Blake said. "So we really are hoping to even do better internationally. The real number on this one will probably be about $300 million worldwide, which is very exciting."

New Line's R-rated urban-appeal hit comedy sequel "Next Friday" fell two rungs to fourth place in its fourth week with a still decent estimated $4.28 million (-25%) at 1,420 theaters (+85 theaters, $3,011 per theater). Its total is approximately $45.5 million.

Directed by Steve Carr, it was written by, stars and was produced by Ice Cube.

There was a close race for fifth place between Destination Films' R-rated psychological thriller "Eye Of the Beholder" and Warner Bros. and Castle Rock Entertainment's R-rated death-row drama "The Green Mile."

As was the case last week when "Eye" opened, Destination did not report an estimated gross by mid-morning Sunday, making it difficult to calculate which film would take fifth place. Other studios estimated Destination's gross at $3.89 million to $4.1 million.

"Eye," which placed first last week, would need about $4.1 million to finish in fifth place in its second week. That would represent a very discouraging drop of about 30% at 1,751 theaters (theater count unchanged, $2,342 per theater). Its total is approximately $11.9 million.

Directed by Stephan Elliott, it stars Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd. Destination reportedly picked up the independently made film for domestic release for about $4 million.

In contrast, "The Green Mile," which was fifth last week, is a blockbuster success in its ninth week, holding very well with an estimated $4.02 million (unchanged) at 2,335 theaters (-36 theaters, $1,719 per theater). Its total is approximately $120.4 million, heading for $140 million in domestic theaters.

Written and directed by Frank Darabont, it stars Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan.

"We've been tracking it from day one against 'A Few Good Men,'" Warner Bros. Distribution President Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "'A Few Good Men' after this exact weekend (in its run) had $119.8 million. They ended up at $141 million. We're definitely getting close (in terms of projected domestic theatrical total) to $140 million now.

"I raised my estimate last week to $136 million. I'm going to pop it again to about $140 million. It has great legs. You see what happens to it every week."

DreamWorks' PG-rated sci-fi fantasy comedy "Galaxy Quest" continued in seventh place in its seventh week, holding nicely with an estimated $3.30 million (-3%) at 1,939 theaters (-270 theaters, $1,702 per theater). Its total is approximately $62.9 million, heading for $70 million in domestic theaters.

Directed by Dean Parisot, it stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman.

Miramax's PG-13-rated teen-appeal romantic comedy "Down To You" fell two pegs to eighth place in its third week with a dull estimated $2.90 million (-28%) at 2,003 theaters (+26 theaters, $1,447 per theater). Its total is approximately $16.8 million.

Written and directed by Kris Isacsson, it stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles.

Columbia's R-rated drama "Girl, Interrupted" slipped one post to ninth in its seventh week with a slower estimated $2.60 million (-20%) at 1,863 theaters (-72 theaters, $1,396 per theater). Its total is approximately $25 million.

Directed by James Mangold, "Girl" stars Winona Ryder and recent Golden Globe winner Angelina Jolie.

Rounding out the Top Ten was Paramount's R-rated drama "The Talented Mr. Ripley," down one peg in its seventh week with a calm estimated $2.50 million (-10%) at 1,819 theaters (-323 theaters, $1,350 per theater). Its total is approximately $75.6 million, heading for about $80 million in domestic theaters.

Written and directed by Anthony Minghella, it stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett.

OTHER OPENINGS

Last weekend also saw the arrival of Buena Vista/Hollywood's R-rated black comedy adventure "Gun Shy," placing 22nd with a discouraging estimated $0.70 million at 296 theaters ($2,367 per theater).

Written and directed by Eric Blakeney, it stars Liam Neeson, Oliver Platt and Sandra Bullock.

Fine Line Features' R-rated suspense/dark comedy "Simpatico" kicked off in 28th place to a soft estimated $0.43 million at 256 theatres ($1,680 per theater).

Based on a play by Sam Shepard, it was directed by Matthew Warchus and stars Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, Sharon Stone, Catherine Keener and Albert Finney.

The PG-13 boxing drama "Knockout," a CEO release, arrived in 34th place and was knocked flat on its face with an estimated $0.072 million at 110 theaters ($655 per theater).

Directed by Lorenzo Doumani, it stars Sophia-Adella Hernandez.

SNEAK PREVIEWS

Last weekend saw no national sneak previews.

EXPANSIONS

On the expansion front, last weekend saw USA Films R-rated drama and critics' darling "Topsy-Turvy" go wider in its eighth week, placing 21st with a quiet estimated $0.69 million at 130 theaters (+59 theaters, $5,285 per theater). Its total is approximately $2.3 million.

Written and directed by Mike Leigh, it stars Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner.

USA Films' reissue of the PG-rated suspense drama "Rear Window" expanded in its third week, placing 36th with an OK estimated $0.063 million at 14 theaters (+11 theaters, $4,475 per theater). Its total is approximately $0.2 million.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it stars James Stewart and Grace Kelly. Robert Harris and James Katz restored the 1954 film classic.

WEEKEND COMPARISONS

Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 for the weekend - took in approximately $85.28 million, up about 13.21% from $75.33 million for the comparable weekend last year.

This weekend's key film gross was up about 40.85% compared with the previous weekend, when key films grossed $60.55 million.

Last year, Paramount's opening week of "Payback" was first with $21.22 million at 2,720 theaters ($7,802 per theater), and Miramax's second week of "She's All That" was second with $11.65 million at 2,629 theaters ($4,447 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $32.9 million. This year, the top two films grossed an estimated $40.1 million.

STUDIO MARKET SHARES

Based on business by key films, the weekend's top six distributors were the following:

Miramax (Miramax, Dimension) was first with three films ("Scream 3," "Down to You" and "The Cider House Rules") grossing an estimated $40.10 million or 47% of the market.

Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia, TriStar) was second with three films ("Stuart Little," "Girl, Interrupted" and "The End Of the Affair") grossing an estimated $8.50 million or 10% of the market.

Universal was third with three films ("Isn't She Great," "Snow Falling on Cedars" and "The Hurricane") grossing an estimated $6.24 million or 7.3% of the market.

Buena Vista (Touchstone and Disney) was fourth with five films ("Play it to the Bone," "Toy Story 2," "Fantasia 2000," "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" and "Bicentennial Man") grossing an estimated $5.94 million or 7% of the market.

New Line was fifth with two films ("Next Friday" and "Magnolia") grossing an estimated $5.55 million or 6.5% of the market.

Warner Bros. was sixth with two films ("The Green Mile" and "Any Given Sunday") grossing an estimated $5 million or 5.9% of the market.

ADDITIONAL ESTIMATES

(11) "Toy Story 2"/BV/Disney: Theaters: 1,618 (-178) Gross: $2.20 million (-6%) Average per theater: $1,360 Total: $237 million

(12) "The Cider House Rules"/Miramax: Theaters: 834 (-9) Gross: $2 million (+14%) Average per theater: $2,398 Total: $20.7 million

(13) "Fantasia 2000"/BV/Disney: Theatres: 54 (0) (all IMAX in U.S.) Gross: $1.70 million (-8%) Average per theater: $31,481 Total: $24 million (worldwide)

(14) "Angela's Ashes"/Paramount: Theaters: 614 (+3) Gross: $1.55 million (-15%) Average per theater: $2,524 Total: $8.6 million

(15) "Magnolia"/New Line: Theaters: 829 (-257) Gross: $1.27 million (-20%) Average per theater: $1,535 Total: $19.3 million

(16) "The End of the Affair" Theaters: 681 (-7) Gross: $1.10 million (-6%) Average per theater: $1,615 Total: $8.5 million

(17) "Any Given Sunday"/Warner Bros.: Theaters: 1,557 (-455) Gross: $0.99 million (-31%) Average per theater: $633 Total: $73.8 million

(18) "Play it to the Bone/BV: Theaters: 1,249 (-339) Gross: $0.76 million (-55%) Average per theater: $610 Total: $7.7 million

(19) "Bicentennial Man"/BV: Theaters: 861 (-341) Gross: $0.75 million (-24%) Average per theater: $870 Total: $56.7 million

(20) "Snow Falling On Cedars"/Universal: Theaters: 800 (-200) Gross: $0.71 million (-21%) Average per theater: $890 Total: $12.8 million

(21) "Topsy-Turvy"/USA Films: (see EXPANSIONS above)

(22) GUN SHY/BV/Hollywood: (see OTHER OPENINGS above)

(23) "Supernova"/MGM: Theaters: 1,135 (-936) Gross: $0.66 million (-46%) Average per theater: $585 Total: $13.3 million (24) "Isn't She Great"/Universal: Theatres: 750 (0) Gross: $0.62 million (-55%) Average per theater: $820 Total: $2.4 million

(25) "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo"/BV: Theaters: 739 (-404) Gross: $0.53 million (-40%) Average per theater: $710 Total: $63 million

(26) "The World Is Not Enough"/MGM: Theaters: 842 (-15) Gross: $0.52 million (-7%) Average per theater: $620 Total: $125.1 million

(27) "Anna and the King"/Fox: Theaters: 568 (-182) Gross: $0.48 million (-19%) Average per theater: $845 Total: $37.6 million

(28) "Simpatico"/Fine Line: (see OTHER OPENINGS above)

(29) "Being John Malkovich"/USA Films: Theaters: 207 (-26) Gross: $0.31 million (no change) Average per theater: $1,505 Total: $21.1 million

(30) "Man On the Moon"/Universal: Theaters: 481 (-143) Gross: $0.24 million (-31%) Average per theater: $505 Total: $34.2 million

(31) "The Bone Collector"/Universal: Theaters: 325 (-7) Gross: $0.15 million (-23%) Average per theater: $465 Total: $65.7 million

(32) "End of Days"/Universal: Theaters: 343 (+5) Gross: $0.15 million (-20%) Average per theat er: $440 Total: $66 million

(33) "Titus"/Fox Searchlight: Theaters: 17 (-1) Gross: $0.11 million (-20%) Average per theater: $6,653 Total: $0.8 million

(34) "My Dog Skip"/Warner Bros. Theatres: 30 (0) Gross: $0.11 million (-3%) Average per theater: $3,595 Total: $0.4 million

(35) "Knockout"/CEA: (see OTHER OPENINGS above) (

36) "Rear Window" /USA: (see EXPANSIONS above)

(37) "The Cup"/Fine Line: Theaters: 4 (0) Gross: $0.031 million (-13%) Average per theater: $7,673 Total: $0.083 million

(38) "The Big Tease"/Warner Bros. Theaters: 4 (0) Gross: $0.019 million (-35%) Average per theater: $4,723 Total: $0.059 million

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