God Save the Screen

By Ash Wakeman

July 1, 2004

Harry and Hermione are still hanging around.

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Next Weekend

Next week, it’s all about Shrek 2. It will be interesting to see if this green behemoth can match its US performance when it hits these shores. Like Potter, Shrek will be benefiting from preview takings, though Shrek’s weekend is a paltry five days compared to Potter’s seven.

I went to see the film on the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I suspect I am in the minority as someone who preferred the first. The sequel was probably funnier, the animation improved and introduced a couple of memorable new characters, but it felt to me like a film with no purpose other than to make money off the back of its predecessor. I have a bit of a thing about what I see as unnecessary sequels, but it’s not really something I should rant about in this case as I did enjoy the film a great deal. So I’ll save it for another day.

Two Weekends Ago

With the May onslaught out of the way, it seems early June has become a bit of a dumping ground with no less than five new releases being unleashed onto the top ten like a…well, the only analogy I can think of is a rather unpalatable biological one, so lets not go there.

Potter and the Day After Tomorrow were locked in at numbers one and two with Troy slipping down to four. All had extremely low drop-offs from the weekend before - too low, in fact. There’s probably a reason for it, but it’s got me stumped at the moment. If anyone has any ideas let me know.

Of the new entries, Mean Girls was the one jumping ahead of Troy with a respectable £1.4 million opening. However, that was on the back of a substantial TV ad campaign. Jersey Girl slips in quietly at number five with a quarter of a million despite very little in the way of advertising, and The Cooler is an impressive sixth on the back of some good critical word-of-mouth.

Speaking of unnecessary sequels, this week’s big, big loser is the Whole Ten Yards. Slinking in with a pathetic $60,000. That’s a tenth of what the original opened. This is what happens when you decide to make a movie for no other reason than the leads got on well together when they did it last time.

Last Weekend

The dumping continues, with another four new films in the top ten. Potter, Tomorrow and Mean Girls are locked in at one, two and three respectively with moderate drop-offs. Potter makes it to number 12 on the all-time list but still has a way to go to catch up with either of its predecessors.

At four, the poorly received Ladykillers just breaks half a million (I’ll save my unnecessary remake rant for another day also) and fifth is the Notebook with an uninspiring $300,000.

Troy drops to sixth and EuroTrip makes a disappointing debut at number seven. While it was never destined to be a blockbuster, no effort at all was made to promote this teen-oriented comedy. I hadn’t even noticed it was on the release schedule. You Got Served, at number nine, on the other hand, I’m surprised they even bothered releasing.



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