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Box Office - Decade at a Glance: January - April 2004

By Michael Lynderey

October 12, 2009

Merry Christmas indeed.

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No other February 2004 movies were quite as lucky, though - the batch of also-rans was led by the silly Lindsay Lohan vehicle Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen ($29 million) and Ashley Judd's disappointing thriller, Twisted ($25 million), which was the last in her series of high-profile starring vehicles. Twilight's Kristen Stewart debuted as lead actress in the go-kart-fest Catch That Kid, mustering up only $16 million, presumably because the film lacked a subplot involving a romance with a sleazy vampire. The Cuban-set prequel/semi-remake Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights finished with a meek $14 million (to the first film's $63 million), and is notable only for being Patrick Swayze's last appearance in a wide theatrical release (evidently reprising his most famous character). Speaking of final roles, the $14 million-grossing Ray Romano vehicle Welcome to Mooseport probably marked the last screen appearance of then-74 year-old Gene Hackman, who has evidently retired from acting since. Whatever else you may say about the movie, it certainly capped off a strong career that began all the way back in the 1960s. Elsewhere in the month, practically unnotable were the teen sex romp EuroTrip ($17 million), another little-seen Meg Ryan vehicle, the athletically-inclined Against the Ropes ($5 million), and Broken Lizard's latest opus, slasher film parody Club Dread, which at $5 million was underwhelming even compared to the intake of their first film, Super Troopers.

Clearly, February 2004 was no time for laughing matters.




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March

With the Passion still dominating the box office headlines, 2004's March was one of the few recent editions of the month with no $100 million movies to call its own. The closest we came was on the month's first week, with the release of the Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson TV show team-up Starsky & Hutch, which at $88 million actually managed to outgross Stiller's Along Came Polly (if only by $1 million). Stiller was clearly on a roll here, and his next few 2004 films would go even higher. Starsky was also a key "Frat Pack" movie, what with the presence not only of its title stars, but also of Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Jason Bateman, who would start his cinematic comeback here. The week's second place went to Viggo Mortensen, who rode the Lord of the Rings wave with a solo star vehicle in historical horse race movie Hidalgo, which did OK with $67 million.

The second week of March gave us Secret Window, another in the series of quirky Johnny Depp performances that audiences really dug into right after Pirates of the Caribbean hit it big. This one was a very solid Stephen King adaptation buoyed almost entirely by Depp's work, and it played out pretty well - $47 million total. Meanwhile, Frankie Muniz wasn't so lucky with his sequel, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. This one opened only 363 days after Cody Banks 1, and the box office doubled back - a $23 million total to the first one's $47 million. Banks 2 was the last big starring role for Muniz, as teen queens replaced teen idols at the box office. Also hanging around was David Mamet's quirky thriller Spartan, with an early performance by Kristen Bell. But Mamet's only directed one (1) movie that made more than $10 million - and nope, this wasn't the one.


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