Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

April 22, 2006

I knew I shouldn't have gone out with O.J.

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Horror continues to show a modicum of strength even after dozens have been released over the past six months. Meanwhile, Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland's film is right in line with expectations, while Paul Weitz's attempted political/American Idol satire falls a bit flat.

Silent Hill

Based on a popular survival horror video game along the lines of Resident Evil, the creepy-looking Silent Hill started out strong with an $8.3 million Friday. Horror has been a bit of a mixed bag of late with regard to staying power over the weekend. Some of the most recent R-rated horror multipliers include Hostel with a 2.57, The Hills Have Eyes with a 2.80 and Slither with a 2.85. None of those can claim the video game affiliation, though. If we look to similar titles along those lines, we see Resident Evil with a 2.63 and Resident Evil: Apocalypse with a 2.5, while Doom summoned up a 2.64. A 2.6 seems plenty reasonable for Silent Hill, which would give it a total of $21.6 million for the weekend. Naturally, it will see a drop from here, but it does seem to be satisfying fans of the game, which is always important for these types of adaptations. When Uwe Boll isn't involved, everything is better.

The Sentinel

This thriller, which looks an awful lot like the television series 24 to the point that it co-stars Kiefer Sutherland, made an about-as-expected $4.8 million on Friday. It's an adult action thriller and should conform nicely to that formula, which would put the weekend multiplier for the Michael Douglas film in the 3.1 range. That would indicate a weekend total of $14.9 million. The Sentinel should eventually find a nice long life on DVD, as it is the perfect type of flick for that medium.


American Dreamz

It was looking grim for American Dreamz a few weeks back when some mainstream critics noted that the satiric film had very little bite. The deathblow came when the studio exhibited a lack of confidence to the tune of 1,500 venues. Despite a terrific cast that includes Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid and Mandy Moore, the movie only managed $1.2 million on its opening day. Although it includes a parody of American Idol that might tend to target it toward a younger audience, it has always felt closer to being an adult demographic film. That would mean a weekend multiplier of 3.0 and disappointing three-day total of $3.6 million. As a fan of Paul Weitz's past work, this makes me sad.

Friends With Money

Expanding to 991 locations this week, Friends With Money was unable to crack the top ten. It's generally been favorably reviewed and was a product of Sundance, but it looks to be a movie that will have to find its audience on DVD. We'll update its situation when estimates are released on Sunday.

Notable Holdovers

Scary Movie 4 dropped a massive 70% from last Friday. The good news that the Weinsteins can take is that Good Friday inflated box office to a degree, so things should level out over the course of the weekend. Still, for those who forecast that Scary Movie 4 would take a second weekend at the top spot, it's looking like an impossibility.

As for the disappointing Disney CGI film The Wild, it fell 52% itself. Again, the fact that lots of kids were on holiday last Friday should help this one a bit, but it's still going to be remembered as a big miscalculation for the Mouse House.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Silent Hill 21.6
2 Scary Movie 4 16.1
3 The Sentinel 14.9
4 Ice Age: The Meltdown 11.3
5 The Benchwarmers 6.6
6 The Wild 4.8
7 Take the Lead 4.1
8 American Dreamz 3.6
9 Inside Man 3.1
10 Thank You for Smoking 2.3



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