Hard Hobbit To Break:
New Year's Eve
Numbers Analysis

By Tim Briody

January 1, 2003

Mr. Burns and Smithers.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the number one movie at the box office. This is a recording.

In the last two days of 2002, Two Towers added another $19.5 million to its already impressive total and now stands less than $100 million away from the total gross of Fellowship of the Ring after just 14 days in theaters.

Here are the relevant comparisons to the first film in the trilogy as they stand now. The Two Towers has earned $219.55 million after 14 days. This is currently 26.2% ahead of the $174 million Fellowship had made after the same amount of time, the last day being New Year's Day. At that rate, Two Towers would finish with $395.46 million.

And in other number geekery, by this time, FotR had earned 55.6% of its eventual $313.36 million gross. If Two Towers follows the same path (and as we've seen, there's no reason to believe that it won't), the film is presently on pace for a final tally of $394.87 million.

The wonders of comparisons: after two weeks, we have a pretty darn good idea of where this thing's headed.

The Two Towers earned $10.6 million Monday and $8.9 million Tuesday. Fellowship had a 26.3% uptick on New Year's Day, so it's reasonable to expect an $11 million gross today, giving Towers 13 days of double-digit earnings in its first 15 days of release. One more FotR comparison: it was only 10 for 15 in that department.

The most important weekend for the sequel is yet to come. With the holidays over, the shine on the box office is gone and this will be the true test to see if 2002 produced two $400 million films.

Meanwhile, back in Perspectiveville, Catch Me If You Can earned $13.7 million Monday and Tuesday, with a 24.6% improvement on Tuesday. With the New Year's Day boost likely and great word of mouth, the film is setting itself up nicely to end up with well over $100 million after its second weekend.

And in the "very interesting" department, Two Weeks Notice gained 8% Tuesday over its Monday box office, while Maid in Manhattan dipped 13.7%. The Sandra Bullock/Hugh Grant film ends 2002 just over $50 million, while the Jennifer Lopez vehicle stands at $62 million. This coming weekend should tell the whole story, but Two Weeks Notice may win the romcom war after all.

Over the rest of the top ten, the only other New Year's Day story could be Die Another Day being the first James Bond film to cross the $150 million barrier.



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