Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

November 5, 2005

His overdue library fine is probably through the roof.

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November begins its attempt to make up for the first ten months of lousy box office in 2005. The week's two new offerings find themselves in a virtual tie on Friday and two expansions also crack a weak lower half of the top ten.


The topical Gulf War film earned a decent $10.7 million Friday. Critical reviews were mixed, all of which highlighted the performances and visuals of the film, but many pointed out the lack of a emotional punch. That shouldn't hurt Jarhead too much over the remainder of the weekend, though. The last first-Gulf War movie, Three Kings, had a 3.17 multiplier on its opening weekend way back in 1999. That jibes pretty well with what Jarhead is aiming for, and a 3.1 multiplier would mean an opening weekend of around $33.2 million.

Chicken Little

The Disney CGI-animated film opened to $10.7 million Friday, a mere $80,000 less than Jarhead. Chicken Little will likely find itself on top when the final estimates come in, as animated films trend toward higher Friday to Sunday multipliers. Robots from earlier this year had a 3.68 and last year's Shark Tale hit 3.75 (and Valiant never happened, you got me?). Chicken Little should do no worse than a 3.65 over the remainder of the weekend, for a tidy $39 million weekend.

Good Night and Good Luck

George Clooney's second directorial effort breaks through to the top ten on just 657 screens with a Friday take of $859,000. The film about broadcaster Edward R. Murrow taking on Joseph McCarthy's communist witch-hunt in the 1950s has had solid per-screen averages and weekend multipliers in its first month in limited release. A multiplier this weekend of around 3.5 would give Good Night and Good Luck $3 million for the weekend.


The adaptation of Steve Martin's novella is still in less than 500 theaters but manages to creep into the top ten with $708,000 Friday. It's also performed well in two weekends in limited release and doesn't appear to have platformed too soon. With a Friday-to-Sunday multiplier of 3.4 (Above average multipliers for everyone this week! Stop me before I go insane!), The Martin/Claire Danes/Jason Schwartzman film should finish the weekend with around $2.4 million.

Notable Holdovers

Saw II falls an entirely predictible 52.1% from last Friday, but Lions Gate executives are too busy counting all their profits from this film to care. Figure around $15.8 million or so for the weekend.

The Legend of Zorro drops 46.7% from a week ago, which is a figure that could've been a lot higher. Call it around 40% drop for the weekend and a weekend gross of about $9.7 million.

The Weather Man falls only 35% from last weekend, but a bomb is a bomb is a bomb. Maybe a 30% weekend drop if it's lucky, but it's still a big miss.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Chicken Little 39.0
2 Jarhead 33.2
3 Saw II 15.8
4 The Legend of Zorro 9.7
5 Prime 5.8
6 Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story 4.6
7 Good Night and Good Luck 3.0
8 The Weather Man 3.0
9 Shopgirl 2.4
10 Flightplan 2.2



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