Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

September 17, 2005

Phantom Reese is certainly no Phantom Dennis

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Reese Witherspoon returns to the month of her biggest hit, but doesn't find the same success she did last time as the box office reverts back to its catatonic-like state.

Just Like Heaven

The Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy opened to a mediocre $5.6 million Friday. Witherspoon's last September wide release, Sweet Home Alabama, took in $12.8 million on its first day back in 2002. But that was pre-Legally Blonde 2, and thus perhaps some fans have never forgiven her. Anyway, Sweet Home Alabama managed a 2.92 multiplier opening weekend, and that seems like a natural fit for Just Like Heaven, giving it a $16.3 million weekend.

Lord of War

The first of two Nicolas Cage films this fall doesn't fare too well out of the gate, with $3.1 million Friday. This wasnt the type of movie that was going to have wide appeal, given its subject matter. It might pull in a moderately okay multiplier over most of the weekend, though. I'll give it a 3.1 due to its potential appeal with adult audiences, which gives Lord of War a $9.6 million weekend.

Cry Wolf

The generic horror movie with no promotion earned $1.6 million on 1,790 screens, placing it right in the middle of the pack because of the summer leftovers clogging the bottom of the chart. Give it the Generic Horror Movie multiplier of 2.6 and a weekend total of around $4.1 million.

Notable Holdovers

The Exorcism of Emily Rose falls a not-entirely unexpected 56% from last Friday and a 50% decline to a tad over $15 million in weekend number two is perfectly acceptable for the film that's already made back its production budget and then some.

Thankfully, for the sanity of BOP staff members everywhere, The Man is nowhere to be found this weekend.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Just Like Heaven 16.3
2 The Exorcism of Emily Rose 15.3
3 Lord of War 9.6
4 The 40 Year-Old Virgin 5.9
5 Cry Wolf 4.1
6 The Constant Gardener 3.7
7 The Transporter 2 3.3
8 Red Eye 2.8
9 Wedding Crashers 2.5
10 An Unfinished Life 2.2



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