Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Aug. 21: 'Snakes' Barely Slithers to the Top

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Aug 21, 2006 | 5:37am EDT

Samuel L. Jackson’s thrill ride Snakes on a Plane expectedly took the top spot at the North American box office but with a modest $15.2 million, a figure well below predictions, considering the tremendous Internet buzz before the film opened.

"I think people were more excited about the marketing than the actual movie," Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press. "New Line did not set out to create this Internet buzz. That's actually a marketer's dream, but when marketing translates into awareness but does not inspire people to get out from behind their computers and into the theater, that's a problem."

Of the other newcomers this weekend, the college comedy Accepted, about slackers who start their own college, had the next-best showing, debuting in fourth place with $10.1 million. Material Girls, starring Hilary and Haylie Duff as cosmetics heiresses, opened in ninth with $4.6 million.

The top 12 movies grossed $91.2 million, down 7.61 percent from last year’s draw of $98.8 and down 16.55 percent from last weekend, which took in $109.3 million.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: Universal’s The 40 Year-Old Virgin, which opened at No. 1 with $21.4 million in 2,845 theaters, averaging $7,530 per theater; DreamWorks’ Red Eye, which debuted in second place with $16.1 million in 3,079 theaters, averaging $5,251 per theaters; and Paramount’s Four Brothers, which dropped to third place in its second week of release with $12.4 million in 2,649 theaters, averaging $4,714 per theaters (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Snakes on a Plane (New Line, R)

• Gross: $15.2 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,555

• Per-theater average: $4,290

No. 2: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Sony, PG-13)

• Gross: $14.1 million (-36%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 3,741 (-66)

• Per-theater average: $3,769

• Cume to date: $114.6 million

No. 3 : World Trade Center (Paramount, PG-13)

• Gross: $10.8 million

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,998 (+41)

• Per-theater average: $3,602

• Cume to date: $45 million

No. 4: Accepted (Universal, PG-13)

• Gross: $10.1 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,914

• Per-theater average: $3,466

No. 5: Step Up (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $9.8 million (-52%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,639 (+172)

• Per-theater average: $3,739

• Cume to date: $39.4 million

No. 6: Barnyard (Paramount, PG)

• Gross: $7.4 million (-23%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 3,227 (-84)

• Per-theater average: $2,321

• Cume to date: $45.9 million

No. 7: Little Miss Sunshine (Fox Searchlight, R)

• Gross: $5.6 million (+118%)

• Weeks opened: 4

• Theaters: 681 (+538)

• Per-theater average: $8,213

• Cume to date: $12.7 million

No. 8: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Buena Vista, PG-13)

• Gross: $5 million (-31%)

• Weeks opened: 7

• Theaters: 2,277 (-664)

• Per-theater average: $2,201

• Cume to date: $401 million

No. 9: Material Girls (MGM, PG)

• Gross: $4.6 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 1,509

• Per-theater average: $3,062

No. 10: Pulse (Weinstein Company, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.5 million

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 2,323 (unchanged)

• Per-theater average: $1,519

• Cume to date: $14.7 million

OTHER OPENINGS

The Illusionist (Yari Film Group, PG-13)

• Gross: $924,886

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 51

• Per-theater average: $18,135

Trust the Man (Fox Searchlight, R)

• Gross: $176,007

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 38

• Per-theater average: $4,632

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