Weekend Wrap-Up

By Tim Briody

May 23, 2004

Are we ripping off that Ben Stiller movie? Err, umm...

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Shrek 2 is not the first film to gross $100 million in a weekend. It is the first film to gross $100 million in a weekend after already earning $20 million in the previous two days.

Wow. That's the only word to describe it.

Shrek 2 did indeed rule the box office this weekend, but to a much larger extent than anyone could have anticipated. The weekend estimate for Shrek 2 is an amazing $104.3 million over the Friday-Sunday period, and $125.3 million since its Wednesday opening. Here's a quick rundown of what the DreamWorks animated sequel has accomplished in just its first five days of release:

- Largest single-day box office earnings (Saturday, $43.65 million)
- Largest venue count (4,163)
- Largest animated opening weekend (destroying Finding Nemo's $70.2 million)
- Largest Wednesday-Sunday opening ($125.3 million, just ahead of The Passion of the Christ's $125.2 million if the estimates hold)

Not to mention that it's second only to Spider-Man in the three-day opening weekend category. This is an astounding figure for any film. It's an even sillier figure when you realize that Saturday's figure for Shrek 2 topped the first weekend earnings Shrek had in 2001.

All the pieces were in place for a very strong opening for Shrek 2; high-demand sequel (the first one of the summer, as opposed to previous seasons), few other family films/comedies in the marketplace, and the largest screen count in history by a margin of nearly 400. But $100 million? Even DreamWorks execs admitted they were just hoping to top Finding Nemo's first weekend. There's going to be some nice Christmas bonuses at that studio this year, as Shrek 2's budget is estimated at a mere $75 million.

Where does it go from here? It's not a very big limb to state that the $262 million Shrek earned will likely be topped. Shrek 2 will be halfway there in its first seven days at the most, and the sky is the limit right now. The most effective evidence of this is the 56% increase it had from Friday to Saturday. Normally, that's a solid number any way you slice it, but when you look at the size of those dollar figures (movies aren't supposed to make $15.7 million more on Saturday than they do on Friday), it's an awesome figure.

Second this week goes to Troy, down a predictible 48% in weekend number two to $23.8 million. We've established a pattern here with our summer releases so far, though Shrek 2 will probably break it. Troy stands at $85.8 million after ten days, though add in its worldwide earnings and it may very well already be in the black for Warner Bros.

Van Helsing drops one spot to third, off another 51% with $10.2 million. Any bump the Hugh Jackman release gets from the Memorial Day weekend will be insignifigant. Van Helsing has now earned $100.1 million in three weekends, though its estimate was probably inflated by Sony to push it over $100 million mark so articles like this will have a nice round number to point out. Its likely finishing point is $115-120 million, but even that might be stretching things.

Paramount's Mean Girls holds well in the face of Shrek 2, down 29.6% from last weekend with a $6.9 million take. The Lindsay Lohan hit has now earned $65.7 million after four weeks. It's still on 3,000 screens, so look for its drops to increase as it starts to shed them in the coming weeks. Mean Girls still stands to finish in the $75-80 million range.

Denzel Washington's Man on Fire continues to perform well in fifth. Slipping just 31% to $3.5 million, the Tony Scott-helmed thriller has now earned $69.2 million in five weeks and will end up with around $75 million when all is said and done.

Last week's other holdover, Jamie Foxx's Breakin' All the Rules, falls 45% to $2.8 million and a $9 million total after two weeks. At least it only cost $10 million to make.

Continuing our trek through some films that have run their course, 13 Going on 30 takes seventh with $2.5 million, down 39% from a week ago. The Jennifer Garner film has earned $52 million in five weeks, though after its $21 million start, the TV star might not be ready for prime-time on the big screen. It's still turned a profit for Sony, and it should have a final tally of $56-58 million.

New York Minute continues its disappointing run, off 45% from last weekend to the eighth spot with $1.2 million. After three weekends, it's earned a mere $6.25 million per Olsen twin.

When Hollywood releases five films in the last three weeks, things like this happen. Playing in pretty much second-run theaters now, Kill Bill Vol. 2 spends its sixth week in the top ten with $1.1 million and $62.7 million total.

As BOP predicted, Super Size Me checks in at number ten with $975,000. Morgan Spurlock's documentary on exactly what happens to you if you eat nothing but McDonalds squeezed into the top ten in just 148 theaters (Shrek 2 was in more than 28 times that!). Three weeks in, Super Size Me has earned $2.9 million, and will clearly look to expand further in the coming weeks, as long as Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 doesn't steal its thunder.

Top Ten for Weekend of
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Gross ($)
Gross ($)
1 Shrek 2 4,163 4,163 104.3 125.3
2 Troy 3,411 No Change 23.8 85.8
3 Van Helsing 3,418 -162 10.1 100.2
4 Mean Girls 3,054 +39 6.9 64.7
5 Man On Fire 2,104 -546 3.5 69.3
6 Breakin' All the Rules 1,318 No Change 2.8 9.0
7 13 Going on 30 2,028 -628 2.5 52.1
8 New York Minute 2,360 -646 1.2 12.5
9 Kill Bill Vol. 2 854 -547 1.1 62.7
10 Super Size Me 148 +35 1.0 2.9
11 Laws of Attraction 1,010 -993 0.9 16.9
12 A Day without a Mexican 104 +48 0.5 1.4



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