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There's Something about Polly

Tim Briody's Weekend Wrap-Up

January 19, 2004

This is how those Richard Gere rumors got started.

There won't be any dispute this weekend, as Along Came Polly comes along and knocks Return of the King out of the number one spot for good, with an impressive opening figure for the month of January.

The number one film of the weekend is the Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston comedy Along Came Polly, earning a very solid $27.6 million over the weekend. Such a figure is good news for both leads. Stiller badly needed a hit after a miserable 2003, and Aniston needs something else good on her resume when the Friends gravy train ends in May. The latest film in the "let's see what embarassing situations we can put Ben Stiller in now!" series also set a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend record, beating the $23.4 million Save the Last Dance earned in 2001.

Despite iffy marketing and a 32% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, Polly somehow struck a chord with moviegoers, perhaps those needing a date movie or wanting something a bit lighter than Big Fish. How well it holds up from here, though, remains to be seen.

Holding in second place this weekend is Tim Burton's Big Fish, down less than 25% from last weekend with $10.4 million. Its total now stands at $37.9 million. As awards season kicks into high gear, any accolades Big Fish earns will only help its total in the coming weeks.

Third this weekend goes to Torque, the long-delayed Fast and the Furious rip-off starring Ice Cube. Torque managed an estimated $10.3 million. Considering there is a $65,000 difference between Torque and Return of the King, it wouldn't surprise me to see that a little number fudging was done to get the film into the top three. With just an 18% Fresh rating and the fickleness of the target audience, watch Torque fall off the radar pretty fast from here.

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King falls from first to fourth after four weekends at the top, with an estimated $10.2 million. The film now stands at $326.8 million. Down 28.2% from last weekend, the hobbits will probably see weekly declines accelerate from here barring some major award wins. Even so, the final film of the trilogy passed Fellowship of the Ring's final total during the week, and is another weekend or so away from surpassing The Two Towers' total and bringing the total haul of the franchise to the $1 billion mark.

The Steve Martin family comedy Cheaper By The Dozen takes fifth, off 25% from last weekend with $8.7 million and a total take of $111.9 million. It's looking for a final total in the $140-150 million range. Steve is probably off somewhere counting his money and trying to find ways to turn the calendar back to the year 2003.

Cold Mountain gears up for next weekend's Golden Globes by taking sixth with a $7 million weekend, off just 11% from last week ater adding 500 screens. It's made $65 million after four weekends, though its final range is still in doubt depending on how it does with the Hollywood Foreign Press and the Academy.

Something's Gotta Give crosses the $100 million mark in its sixth weekend with a $6 million weekend. It's off 22% from last weekend, showing that it wasn't affected by the screener popping up on the net earlier this week. The total for the Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton flick to date is $100.9 million.

Eighth goes to My Baby's Daddy, falling a predictible 51.6% from last weekend with $3.7 million. It's got $12.4 million after two weekends, and probably doesn't even have a $20 million total in its future.

In ninth we find another film that entered 2003's crowded $100 million club this weekend. Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai falls 31% from last weekend with $3.1 million and brings its total to $102 million after seven weekends. The final gross for the epic looks to be in the $115-120 million range.

Sneaking into the top ten is Calendar Girls, despite being down 18% from last weekend. With a $3 million gross on less than 1,000 screens, the older, female version of The Full Monty has earned $17.2 million to date. It's not the sleeper hit some expected, but it's performed decently so far.

The weekend's third opener was dead on arrival as Teacher's Pet earned $2.3 million to finish out of the money. It'll make more on DVD than it will in theaters, so don't waste any tears on it.

Despite the breakout performance of Along Came Polly, the top ten films could only muster $89.9 million this weekend, as opposed to last year, when the Kangaroo Jack-led top ten earned $98.7 million.

Due to the holiday, final figures won't be available until Tuesday, so check back then for final three and four-day figures from this weekend's films.

-374
Top Ten for Weekend of January 16-18, 2004
Rank
Film
Number of Sites
Change in Sites from Last
Estimated Gross ($)
Cumulative Gross ($)
1
Along Came Polly
2,984
New
27.6
27.6
2
Big Fish
2,514
+108
10.4
38.0
3
Torque
2,463
New
10.3
10.3
4
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
3,003
-529
10.2
326.8
5
Cheaper By the Dozen
3,025
-213
8.8
112.0
6
Cold Mountain
2,802
+500
7.0
65.0
7
Something's Gotta Give
2,502
6.0
101.0
8
My Baby's Daddy
1,448
+1
3.7
12.4
9
The Last Samurai
1,403
-498
3.1
102.0
10
Calendar Girls
967
+10
3.1
17.2
11
Chasing Liberty
2,400
No change
2.8
10.0
12
Paycheck
1,984
-778
2.7
50.6

     


 
 

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