Planet Reaches Number One

John Hamann's Weekend Wrap-Up

Who are three people that have never been in my kitchen.

Get your hands off those box-office records, you damned dirty apes!

Guess what the Halloween costume of the year is going to be? Get ready for the re-birth of the ape suit.

Planet of the Apes blew the Jurassic Park dinosaurs off the playing field for the weekend of July 27th to 29th. PotA grossed a record breaking $69.56 million on 3,500 screens over the weekend to knock Jurassic Park III out of the top spot over the weekend. The apes had a truly impressive screen average of $19,909 on 3,500 screens. For the second week in a row, prognosticators saw big dollars for the tentpole opener, but not nearly this big of an opening weekend. Not only were the dinos in trouble, but several box-office records were as well.

Planet of the Apes came within inches of besting the top three-day earner, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which had a three-day, Friday-to-Sunday total of $72.13 million. The PotA estimate beat The Mummy Returns, which opened in May to $68.13 million on 3,401 screens. Watch for the actual number here tomorrow, when final numbers come in, to see if PotA actually beats The Mummy Returns. The year 2001 now has four of the top six openers of all time: PotA, The Mummy Returns, Pearl Harbor and Hannibal.

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When you look at opening weekends with inflation calculated in, it looks more as it did before 2001:

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Higher ticket prices and wider openings continue to keep pushing the box-office records further and further up. It will be interesting to watch and see if Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Spider-Man can continue to build on these awe inspiring numbers. PotA had everything needed to break out at the box office. It had a great marketing campaign that Fox started months ago; a huge screen count, the third biggest of all time; a rising star in Mark Wahlberg, who helped open the Perfect Storm last summer; and a great director who delivers the commercial goods when he wants to. Most importantly, it had a pre-sold concept, thanks to the enormous cult status of the original film, which enabled it to cross massive demographic barriers.

On Friday, PotA had the fourth-best single day ever - a jaw-dropping $25.06 million - making it the number one Friday first-week gross of all time, and beating Friday numbers from The Mummy Returns ($23.38M), X-Men ($21.38M) and Austin Powers 2 ($20.19M). PotA is only the fifth film ever to open to more than $20 million on a Friday. The Saturday number was down just slightly to an estimated $24.99 million, giving PotA both the fourth and fifth spot on the all-time single day list. For more information on the biggest single-day films of all time, visit the Single Day Records section at BOP.

Planet of the Apes also adds itself to an impressive list being compiled by Apes director Tim Burton. After breaking the box office with the two Batman films, Burton is still able to deliver the quieter, more intelligent type of film like Ed Wood and Ed Scissorhands. What's next for Burton? Who knows, but expect it to be wild, and to make colossal amounts of dough, if it's in the vein of PotA, Batman or Sleepy Hollow.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE movie like '%Sleepy Hollow%' OR movie like '%Mars Attacks%' OR movie like 'Ed Wood' " sqlstr = sqlstr + " OR movie like '%Planet Of the%' OR movie like '%Batman Returns%' OR movie like 'Batman' OR movie like 'Edward Scissorhands%' ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Tim Burton's Box Office History" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>

PotA is great timing for Twentieth-Century Fox, as they have been desperate for a hit. Sure, they had moderate success with Dr. Dolittle 2 and Moulin Rouge, but Fox hasn't opened a blockbuster since Cast Away, and before that X-Men. Upcoming movies for Fox include Glitter, with the hospitalized Mariah Carey; and the much moved-around Joy Ride, with Leelee Sobieski, Paul Walker and Steve Zahn. Fox may have to wait until From Hell, with Johnny Depp, opens in October to get back to the number-one spot at the box office, although PotA will definitely give Rush Hour 2 a run for its money next weekend.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE movie like 'Cast Away%' OR movie like 'Monkeybone%' OR movie like'%Say It Isn''t So%' " sqlstr = sqlstr + " OR movie like '%Someone Like You%' OR movie like '%Freddy Got%' OR movie like '%Moulin Rouge%' OR movie like '%Dolittle 2%'" sqlstr = sqlstr + " OR movie like 'Kiss Of the%' ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Recent Fox Releases" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>

In the second spot this weekend was Jurassic Park III, off a disappointing 55% to $22.49 million, after having a massive three-day weekend of $50.8 million last weekend. JP3 already has a 12-day total of $124.8 million; JP3 crossed the $100 million mark on Thursday, its ninth day of release. The second week drop for JP3 is indicative of drop-offs for blockbusters, and has been especially true for the summer of 2001. JP3 did an estimated $6.648 million on Friday, and the estimated Friday-to-Friday percentage drop for Jurassic Park III was an estimated 59%, which must have had Universal execs a little worried. It bounced back on Saturday, grossing $8.71 million. The previous segment of the Jurassic Park franchise, The Lost World, dropped a similar 52% when compared to its second weekend.

2001 second week drops:

Mummy Returns 50.5%
Pearl Harbor 50%
Tomb Raider 58.5%
Fast and the Furious 50%
A.I. 52%
Cats & Dogs 44.5%
Scary Movie 2 53.4%
Legally Blonde 45.5%

The people hurt by these large second-week drops are the exhibitors. Studios are now hyping their films like never before, and the front-loading results in the studios reaping a bigger piece of the box-office pie than the exhibitors do. The take for the first weekend of the film is often weighted 70/30 towards the studios, and slowly eases toward the exhibitors after the second weekend. These horrendous drops are not worrisome to the studios, as they don't spend a shiny nickel to promote the film once the Friday grosses have been counted. Sometimes, though, there are cases like Shrek, where the second weekend box office was more important to the studio than the first (Shrek opened the weekend before Memorial Day weekend), resulting in the longer ad campaign.

In third, the press junket is over, as America's Sweethearts also dropped spectacularly. Sweethearts did $15.70 million over the weekend on 3,011 screens, resulting in a screen average of $5,215 per screen. It dropped 48% compared to its opening last weekend of $30.18 million. Julia Roberts' last July opener, Runaway Bride, dropped 40.74% in its second weekend, grossing $20.7 million after opening to $35.06 million. Other than Legally Blonde, Sweethearts is the only film in the top ten skewing strongly female, so its large drop must have Sony concerned, although with a cume of $59.4 million, they have little to worry about, as Sweethearts' production cost was only $48 million.

Dropping to fourth was America's Sweethearts strongest competition, Legally Blonde. In its third week, Blonde grossed $9 million, and its total now stands at $59.8 million. Legally Blonde dropped a miniscule 18%, which must be a relief to MGM and it shareholders, after last weekend posting a drop of 45.5%. Blonde's Friday-to Friday drop was only an estimated 23%, the second best in the top ten. Corporately, MGM reported a $35.9 million loss during the last quarter, compared to a $24.1 million gain a year earlier. Legally Blonde should give them a much-needed boost through the rest of the business year. Next on the MGM slate is the Angelina Jolie/Antonio Banderas starrer, Original Sin, opening next weekend.

Hitting fifth this week was The Score, starring Robert DeNiro, Ed Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando. The Score grossed $7.1 million on 2,211 screens (a still-potent $3,212 screen average). The Score dropped 34% in its third weekend; its total gross so far of $49.2 million will be dueling with Along Came a Spider ($73.8 million) for third spot so far this year for Paramount, which also has released Save the Last Dance ($91 million total) and Tomb Raider ($128 million so far).

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE movie like 'Tomb Raider%' OR movie like 'Crocodile Dundee in%' OR movie like'%Along Came A Spider%' " sqlstr = sqlstr + " OR movie like '%Enemy at the%' OR movie like '%Save the Last %' ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Recent Paramount Releases" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>

Down to sixth and falling fast is WB's Cats & Dogs, which grossed $4.51 million. Cats & Dogs was once thought to be a lock for $100 million, but with drops like it had this weekend (33%) and its screen average ($1,602 PSA), WB will have to be happy with a final gross somewhere in the low-to-mid $90 million range. Its total now stands at $81.5 million. It's a long look back to when the last WB movie grossed more than $100 million - back to Christmas 2000, when Sandra Bullock's Miss Congeniality ($106 million) opened.

Landing in seventh, with the best hold of the week and crossing the $100 million mark, was Fox's other top-ten film, Dr. Dolittle 2. The Doctor did $4.17 million in its sixth weekend. Its total has now hit the $100 million dollar mark, grossing $100.8 million. The week-to-week hold for Dolittle is quite shocking - a drop of only 5%. Watch for the good doctor to possibly fall to eighth when final numbers come in tomorrow.

Down two spots to eighth and holding well late in the game is Universal's The Fast and the Furious. Fast grossed $3.78 million in its sixth weekend on a still Furious 2,385 screens. Its week-to-week drop was only 29%, down from a 35% drop last weekend. The Fast and the Furious' total now stands at $132.2 million. In two weeks, look for Universal to possibly go five-for-five on number one openers during the summer when American Pie 2 opens wide.

The ninth spot went to Scary Movie 2, which grossed $2.6 million on 2,179 screens. For those of you playing at home, that's a screen average of a whopping $1,193. Look for Scary Movie 2 to hemorrhage screens next weekend.

Still holding on to the tenth spot is the leggy Shrek, which was able to leapfrog Kiss of the Dragon and Final Fantasy to remain on the top ten list. Shrek did $1.74 million in its eleventh weekend; its tally now stands at $255.5 million, and is by far the best movie investment of the year. It will be tough for Shrek to hang on again, as three films will most likely enter the top ten next week: Original Sin, Rush Hour 2 and The Princess Diaries assault cineplexes across North America.

Last week, the top 12 openers drew $134.9 million in box office receipts, compared to $143.44 million this week, an increase of about 6.3%. Compared to a year ago when Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps opened to $42.52 million and the top 12 reached $121.67 million, the July 27-29, 2001 fared better, with an increase of 18%.

Top 12 for Weekend of July 27 - 29
Number of Sites
Change in Sites from Last
Estimated Gross ($)
Cumulative Gross ($)
Planet of the Apes
Jurassic Park III
America's Sweethearts
No Change
Legally Blonde
The Score
Cats and Dogs
Dr. Dolittle 2
The Fast and the Furious
Scary Movie 2



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Sunday, July 5, 2020
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