It's not a surprise that Troy took the top spot at the box office. But in the era of the mega-blockbuster, its opening weekend figure might be.
May 16, 2004
The Wolfgang Petersen film starring Brad Pitt opened to $45.6 million. Is this a bad number or a good number? Depends on who you ask, but it's not looking very good. Looking at its reported production cost of around $200 million, this is a horrible thing for Warner Bros. But, as David Mumpower mentioned yesterday, consider that it's likely to earn more money around the rest of the world than, say, Van Helsing would. This softens the blow a little.
Domestic wise, however, $45.6 million off an estimated Friday take of $16.9 million gives a 2.7 internal multiplier, an awful number for an event film. Saturday figures, in theory, are supposed to increase for R-rated films that push three hours in running length. The reported Saturday take for Troy was $16.6 million. Uh-oh.
Can it leg it out like Gladiator did? Maybe. It's not exactly as well received as Gladiator was, nor is it a lock for any Oscar nominations. The box office is also a much different beast than even four years ago, with a much greater emphasis on opening weekend.
Last week's champ, Van Helsing, completely collapses 61% to $20.1 million. It's earned $84.5 million in its first ten days of release, though at this rate, it's not going to make it to June, and any bump from the Memorial Day holiday it might get is going to be minimal. It's also got no chance at earning its reported $200 million plus negative cost back, at least not in North America.
In third we have Mean Girls, down a solid 26% with $10.1 million. The Paramount teen comedy starring Lindsay Lohan has earned $55.3 million in three weekends. A final total in the $75-80 million range is looking pretty likely at this point.
After the top three, it gets ugly fast. The week's other new release, Breakin' All The Rules places fourth with a meager $5.3 million. The Jamie Foxx release did the best it could on its 1,300 screens, but the Screen Gems picture didn't counter-program as well as they would have liked.
Denzel Washington's Man on Fire chugs along in fifth, down 36% from last weekend with $5.3 million. After four weeks, it's earned $64.3 million, and has nearly reached its $70 million budget.
Also in its fourth week is Jennifer Garner's 13 Going on 30. It shows a little more staying power, down under 30% to $4.2 million and sixth place despite dropping 500 screens. The first feature film anchored by the Alias star has now earned $48.6 million.
Last week's other holdover, New York Minute drops 37% to the seven spot. It could've been much worse for the Olsen Twins, though with only $10.7 million after two weekends, things certainly aren't getting any better.
Films eight through ten are the very definition of dead wood, and the only notable thing worth mentioning is Kill Bill Vol. 2 crossing the $60 million mark, placing it $10 million under the first entry.
When we look just outside the top ten, we get a couple of very impressive performances. Super Size Me, the documentary that shows you what happens when you eat nothing but McDonalds for 30 days, places 11th with $723,000 in just 113 theaters. With that strong of a performance, look for more expansion in the next few weeks, and due to the softness of the lower ranks of the box office, an appearance in the top ten. Super Size Me has earned just under $1.5 million in two weekends.
The last film that merits a mention this weekend is one that very few people had even heard of until earlier this afternoon. A Day Without a Mexican, opening in only 56 theaters, took 12th place with $500,000. A comedy and social statement at the same time, the film was distributed by Televisa Cine, and it clearly played well among its target audience in California. A tip of the cap to those involved.