Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

October 9, 2004

Why yes, George W. Bush did destroy our town long before he became president.

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This weekend saw a trio of new films debut, but would any of them have enough steam to knock Shark Tale out of the top spot? It sure seems unlikely, but one of them came closer than a lot of people would have believed.

Friday Night Lights

Based on the fantastic book by H.G. Bissinger, Friday Night Lights was the beneficiary of a marvelous marketing campaign that took perfect advantage of its direct demographic. The film was advertised during both college and professional football games, and in the end, the move paid off. The well-reviewed film had a debut Friday of $7.0 million, well in excess of what many analysts were predicting. Like Remember the Titans, another high school football movie that opened at a similar time of year, Friday Night Lights should have a strong 3.0 multiplier, which would extrapolate out to a $21 million opening weekend. With reviews and good word-of-mouth, it should hang around for a good while, too.


On the opposite end of the spectrum lies the heavily advertised Taxi. Though the initial teaser was good and audiences responded favorably, in the weeks leading up to the film, the marketing was slipshod at best. Queen Latifah might just have used up all audience good will on the horrendous Bringing Down the House, and Jimmy Fallon is a marginal SNL star at best. The film managed $3.7 million on Friday after a dismal Wednesday and Thursday where barely anyone even realized it had an early start. The film probably won't suffer a terrible Friday-to-Sunday multiplier, as things tend to even out this time of year. Give it a 2.8 and a three-day total of $10.4 million. Adding in the Wednesday and Thursday numbers, the total gets bumped all the way up to a grand total of $11 million.

Raise Your Voice

Hilary Duff finally looks to be losing a little steam, as after seeing moderate success with both The Lizzie McGuire Movie and A Cinderella Story, her kids-in-music-school film Raise Your Voice started the weekend with a slight $1.4 million. With the target audience mostly in school on Friday, the film should see an okay multiplier of around 2.9. Raise Your Voice should have a Friday-to-Sunday total of $4.1 million.

The Motorcycle Diaries

A surprise in Friday's top ten was The Motorcycle Diaries, a biopic about the early days of Che Guevara. It snuck in with $400,000 on 167 screens. Look for it to possibly stay in the top ten for the entire weekend with a total of $1.3 million.

Notable Holdovers

It's not particularly stunning that Shark Tale held up fairly well, given the fact that it's presumably a family film. It dropped 36% from its debut Friday and should probably finish its second week at number one with around $32.4 million.

Ladder 49, on the other hand, behaved more like movies typically do in their second frame these days. It fell 49% from last Friday, but still should wind up with a more-than-passable $12.1 million for the weekend.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Shark Tale 32.4
2 Friday Night Lights 21.0
3 Ladder 49 12.1
4 Taxi 11.0
5 The Forgotten 4.1
6 Raise Your Voice 4.1
7 Shaun of the Dead 1.7
8 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 1.6
9 Napoleon Dynamite 1.4
10 The Motorcycle Diaries 1.3



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