Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

November 13, 2004

The Incredible Family celebrates what's shaking out to be a second straight great weekend.

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A second CGI-animated film attempted to take a slice of the family pie this weekend, while Pierce Brosnan tried to show that he can still smolder. Chucky became a daddy, and Bridget Jones continued being neurotic. In the end, Pixar is going to emerge victorious again.

The Polar Express

After taking in a decent $7.3 million on Wednesday and Thursday, the Tom Hanks-centric film managed to start the weekend with $6.7 million on Friday. Naturally, since it is a film aimed directly at the family audience, it's going to have strong holds over the entire three days. Look for a weekend multiplier in the 3.5 range, which would indicate a debut weekend of $23.5 and a cumulative total over $30 million. That number has to be somewhat disappointing for Warner Bros., as an article published yesterday stated that the film would need to make in excess of $500 million (including ancillary sales such as DVD and television rights) to be profitable. The holiday season is fast approaching, though, which means that The Polar Express should have a nice, long life at the box office.

After the Sunset

Audiences still like Pierce Brosnan, it seems. Despite mixed-to-poor reviews, the film is nonetheless a crowd-pleaser, and kick started the weekend with a $3.6 million Friday. Since the film skews very heavily adult, it's going to have a strong showing over the Friday-to-Sunday period. The weekend multiplier should wind up around 3.1, which would give the caper flick a solid-if-unspectacular opening weekend total of $11.2 million.

Seed of Chucky

The Child's Play franchise, on the other hand, appears to have lost steam. Rather than open this film on Halloween, a date that would have been appropriate and might have attracted some of the Grudge/Saw audience, Rogue Pictures instead saw fit to push it to mid-November. The move seems to have been a bit of a miscalculation, as Seed of Chucky had an opening day total of $3.1 million. With the typical horror film multiplier of 2.5, it's going to limp along to a three-day total of $7.8 million, throwing well under the previous entry in the series, which had a first-weekend take of $11.8 million.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Along with The Incredibles, the other big winner this weekend looks to be Universal and their sequel to Bridget Jones's Diary. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason rolled out in a limited 530 venue theater count, and managed to equal Seed of Chucky's Friday number and approached that of After the Sunset. Again, it's an adult-skewing, female-friendly film, and will have a solid three-day multiplier. Given a 3.3 for Friday-to-Sunday, Bridget Jones should find herself with $10.2 million and a decent chance for the best per-screen average.

Notable Holdovers

After jumping out to an impressive start in weekend one, The Incredibles is holding up, well, incredibly. It dropped a mere 28% on Friday, as word-of-mouth has clearly kicked in that this film is truly top-notch. Look for a strong second weekend showing of $49 million and another asterisk alongside the "competition is overrated" mantra.

Alfie, on the other hand, is precipitously close to falling off the face of the earth. It dropped 54% from last Friday and is looking at a second weekend total of $3.1 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 The Incredibles 49.0
2 The Polar Express 23.5
3 After the Sunset 11.2
4 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason 10.2
5 Ray 8.9
6 Seed of Chucky 7.8
7 The Grudge 7.6
8 Saw 6.7
9 Shall We Dance? 4.2
10 Alfie 3.1



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