Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

October 16, 2004

I'm getting buff so I can beat up Clutch Cargo.

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After two weekends where some strong films entered the market, could a puppet flick from the creators of South Park sustain the momentum?

Team America: World Police

This subversive entry from Paramount, Trey Parker and Matt Stone took in a total of $4.7 million on Friday. While this result is certainly looking better than the first weekend numbers for the theatrical version of South Park, it's almost certainly front-loaded and probably a bit of a disappointment given the hype and marketing. Look for a multiplier around 2.6 and a total weekend number of $12.2 - though the studio will probably estimate a bit higher. The worse news is that the film doesn't look to be leggy at all. The bulk of the audience wanting to see the film will be out to theaters in the first three days.

Shall We Dance?

The Richard Gere/Jennifer Lopez romcom scored $3.7 million on Friday, which was a lot more than I was expecting given the fact that the trailer is one of the worst I've ever seen. Even worse, marketing was nonexistent - or perhaps I just don't watch the right shows. The numbers should actually hold up rather nicely over the weekend, too, since the film definitely skews toward an older audience and instills no need to rush. Shall We Dance? should come up with $11.5 million for the weekend and has a decent chance of outgrossing Team America in the long run.

Notable Holdovers

Shark Tale continues to hold strongly and will easily take the #1 spot for the weekend again. The mediocre CGI flick from DreamWorks took in $5.8 million on Friday, a 28% drop from the week before. Look for a third weekend total of $24 million.

Friday Night Lights held up reasonably well, particularly for the genre. It had a 40% drop from its previous Friday number with a $4.2 million take yesterday. Its Friday-to-Sunday result should be in the area of $13.2 million - meaning it is likely to finish ahead of Team America, though those results might not be reflected until actual receipts come in on Monday.

Also dropping around 40% was Taxi, which might be the result of a continued advertising push that pervaded during the baseball playoffs and other events throughout the week. Though it's not going to set the world on fire, Taxi should still have a second weekend total of $7.6 million.

The Motorcycle Diaries will make its second appearance in the top ten despite being on a very limited number of screens. It actually increased on last Friday's result after adding less than a hundred screens. The Che Guevara biopic took in $500,000 on Friday and should have a three-day total approaching $1.7 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Shark Tale 24.0
2 Friday Night Lights 13.2
3 Team America: World Police 12.2
4 Shall We Dance? 11.5
5 Ladder 49 9.6
6 Taxi 7.6
7 The Forgotten 6.8
8 Raise Your Voice 2.4
9 The Motorcycle Diaries 1.7
10 Shaun of the Dead 1.4



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