Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

December 18, 2004

Ooh! Rock me Amadeus!

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With a week to go before Christmas, the malls are not only packed, but so are the theaters across North America, with the biggest family film of the season having an impressive opening day, leading into a mammoth first weekend and what Paramount hopes will be the launch of a new franchise. Meanwhile, Spanglish starts out okay, and Flight of the Phoenix sounds funnier if you pronounce it "Pahonicks."

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

The miserable Jim Carrey movie earned a terrible $10.6 million Friday and with this disastrous...oh, who am I kidding? The Brad Siberling-directed film is now in prime position to lead the box office for the remaining weeks of 2004. Even with the impressive first day figure, the film based on the first three books penned by Mr. Snicket looks to have an even more kid-friendly Saturday and Sunday, and we'll give it a 3.3 internal multiplier, good for a $35 million weekend.


James L. Brooks's latest attempt at an Academy Award gets off to a pretty decent start, with an estimated $3 million Friday box office take. Sony is hoping that some year-end attention will make it a big box office winner when all is said and done, a decent showing on opening weekend doesn't hurt either. We'll give Spanglish a typical romantic comedy internal multiplier of 3.2, which gives the Adam Sandler film (not to be confused with an Adam Sandler movie) $9.6 million.

Flight of the Phoenix

The remake gets lost in the pre-holiday shuffle, with a meager $1.6 million first day. The Christmas high tide rises all boats, but getting there is half the battle. Flight of the Phoenix should finish the weekend with $4.5 million.

Notable Holdovers

Ocean's Twelve drops a rather high 56.3% from last Friday. Yikes. The rest of the weekend might bring the overall decline under 50%, but it's going to need a strong showing over Christmas to match the total box office of Ocean's Eleven.

Blade: Trinity falls an even higher 62.8%, driving home the final nail in the franchise's coffin (heh). It's going to be a minimum 55% decline for the third Blade movie.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 35.0
2 Ocean's Twelve 21.5
3 Spanglish 9.6
4 The Polar Express 9.2
5 Blade: Trinity 6.5
6 National Treasure 5.6
7 Christmas With the Kranks 5.5
8 Closer 4.6
9 Flight of the Phoenix 4.5
10 The Incredibles 3.3



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