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Scooby Snacks on the Box Office

John Hamann's Weekend Wrap-Up

June 14 - June 16, 2002

This cast just opened a film to $56 million. Surely the apocalypse is at hand.

Audiences were looking for escapism this weekend as two pop-culture films ruled the box office. Warner Bros.' Scooby-Doo blew the cover off the box office this weekend, breaking the $50 million opening weekend barrier. Scooby now has the biggest opening for June ever, edging out the Austin Powers sequel which opened to $54.6 million in 1999. The Bourne Identity also outperformed expectations this weekend, breaking the $25 million mark. Windtalkers disappointed for MGM, and will have a long way to go to see profitability. The three openers combined for $98.42 million this weekend, destroying the $68.1 million Tomb Raider and Atlantis opened to last year. Hockey and basketball playoffs ended last week, so the big demographic was available for moviegoing, and they came out en masse.

Scooby-Doo grossed $56.42 million this weekend. Scooby-Doo grossed $56.42 million this weekend. I've purposely put that twice because the number is so hard to believe. Yes, the Saturday-morning cartoon adaptation landed in first this weekend in a walk, doubling some estimates. It's the 16th-biggest opening weekend ever, just short of Toy Story 2 which opened to $57.3 million. Like Shrek, Scooby had a very wide anticipated audience, as a film like this attracts both the parent and the child, as well as the pop-culture 17-25 demo. The flick opened at an ultra-wide 3,447 venues this weekend, and carried a fantastic screen average of $16,368. It looks like last summer's trend of huge opening weekends followed by big drop-offs will continue.

Reviews weren't great for the WB pic, but this film was review-proof. Only twenty-two out of 80 reviews at Rottentomatoes.com were positive, but the target audience for Scooby-Doo didn't care. The screening I was at was aimed at kids, they loved it, and the CinemaScores reflect that. Both males and females under 21 gave the film an A, while the older crowd both gave a B- rating. The average ended up at B+.

Warner Bros. will now have three films open around $60 million in the space of a year, once the Harry Potter sequel opens in November. After a slow start to 2002, WB has picked it up of late, with Insomnia and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Next up is the over-advertised Juwanna Mann; that film opens next weekend. Check out the chart below for more info on WB releases.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer''s Stone ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Ocean''s 11 ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Majestic, The' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'A Walk to Remember' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Collateral Damage' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Queen of the Damned' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Showtime' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Death to Smoochy' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Murder by Numbers ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Insomnia'" sqlstr = sqlstr + " ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "WB Chart" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>


Universal's The Bourne Identity got off to a great start this weekend, grossing $27.5 million from only 2,635 screens, good for a tremendous venue average of $10,436. Universal has to be pleased with this, as this gives the franchise a great launch and essentially ensures the development of the next film, The Bourne Supremacy. It's the biggest open for director Doug Liman, who directed the great but little-seen Go and Swingers.

Matt Damon needed a hit. Yes, he had a part in Ocean's 11, but his biggest film since Good Will Hunting is The Talented Mr. Ripley, released in late 1999. Matt couldn't keep up to buddy Ben Affleck's opening of The Sum of All Fears; that film opened to $31.2 million, but TBI may be able to beat Sum in the legs department, as reviews and Cinemascores were good. RT gave Bourne the Fresh rating with an 84% positive rating, and the average Cinemascore was a solid A-. It's been a fairly quiet year so far for Universal Pictures; none of their films has really broken out, and now they have a release void until August, when Blue Crush opens.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Musketeer, The' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'K-PAX ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Spy Game' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'A Beautiful Mind ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'How High ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Big Fat Liar' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Dragonfly' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'E.T. (re-release)' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Scorpion King, The ' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'About a Boy '" sqlstr = sqlstr + " ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Universal chart" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>


Third spot goes to the MGM-owned Windtalkers, from director John Woo. While good for third spot on the chart, Windtalkers grossed a low $14.5 million this weekend, putting this film in potential dire straits. The most positive outlook sees this film getting to $60 million, against a cost of about $100 million. This year has been tough on MGM. After a not-bad 2001, it's disappointing that MGM has stumbled so badly in 2002. Windtalkers is MGM's fourth major release of the year, and is sadly its biggest opening.

The writing was on the wall for this MGM flick; the company sold foreign distribution rights for $35 million, but that only cut slightly into its $120 million cost. Dave Poland at thehotbutton.com calls Windtalkers' Domestic Break-Even (DBE) mark to be at $100 million. So, if we look at a worst-case scenario, and Windtalkers grosses $30 million total, the film will lose $70 million. Hart’s War, another MGM flick from earlier in the year, cost $70 million and grossed $19 million, netting a loss of $50 million. The other 2002 MGM flick was Rollerball, which had the same gross and cost figures, which is another $50 million loss for the studio. It's not often that a studio can release three films and lose $170 million. Sure, they may make part of that up in foreign sales, home video and TV sales, but even $85 million has to be hard on the bottom line.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Hannibal' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Heartbreakers' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'What''s the Worst That Could Happen?' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Legally Blonde' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Ghost World' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Original Sin' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Jeepers Creepers' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Bandits' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Rollerball' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Hart''s War' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Deuces Wild'" sqlstr = sqlstr + " ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "MGM Chart" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>


After two weeks in the pole position, The Sum of All Fears dropped to number four this weekend, but actually held quite well in the face of severe genre competition coming from Matt Damon's The Bourne Identity. The Tom Clancy thriller grossed $13.5 million in its third weekend, dropping only 30%. Down only 63 screens from last week, the Paramount thriller carried a venue average of $4,333 from a very-wide 3,155 screens. Its total stands at $84.5 million against a reported budget of $68 million, giving Paramount a reason to smile.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood lost more audience than expected this weekend, dropping three spots to number five. The chick flick grossed $9.8 million in its second weekend, losing 40% of its opening weekend audience. Ya-Ya played well during the week, as it won the box-office race on Wednesday and Thursday. Warner Bros. decided not to expand the film this weekend, leaving it on 2,507 screens, which gave it a somewhat solid average of $3,909. Its total now stands at $34.9 million; it's headed for $60 million if it can hold better next weekend..

Sixth spot this week went to Star Wars: Episode Two - Attack of the Clones. The George Lucas film is spiraling down, grossing only $9.2 million this weekend, a drop of 34%. Chances of this film making $300 million grow slimmer and slimmer as each weekend goes by. Its current total is $270.5 million. Maybe George should let someone else direct the third one.

A close seventh goes to Spider-Man, who missed passing Attack of the Clones by $1.8 million. The comic flick grossed another $7.4 million in its seventh frame, down 28% from last week. The total for the web-slinger stands at $382.4 million; it looks like it will finish with about $405 million, good for fifth on the all-time list.

Bad Company lands in eighth spot, down four spots from its fourth place debut last weekend. The Touchstone flick grossed $6.1 million, off a hurtful 45% from its opening gross. While budget information is not available, a total gross of $30 million will put this film at a huge loss, as a typical Jerry Bruckheimer film is not a cheap thing to produce. It's current total sits at $21.8 million.

Ninth this week is Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, which grossed $5.55 million. The animated DreamWorks flick dropped 40% this weekend, bringing its total to $63.8 million.

It was a dogfight for tenth this week, as three films left the chart. The bottom-rung winner this week is Undercover Brother, which grossed $4.63 million. The total for UB stands at $31.6 million.

With the huge opening for Scooby-Doo, the box office is once again back to beating up on last year's grosses. The top ten in the same weekend 2001 grossed $127 million, with Tomb Raider taking the crown with $47.7 million. This year the top ten grossed $154.6 million, an increase of 18%.

Next weekend is another big battle at the box office. The Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg collaboration Minority Report hits screens, along with Disney's Lilo & Stitch. The comedy on the card next weekend is Juwanna Man, but I can't imagine even WB having high hopes for that one. Check out BOP’s release schedule for more information.

Top 12 for Weekend of June 14-16, 2002
Rank
Film
Number of Sites
Change in Sites from Last
Estimated Gross ($)
Cumulative Gross ($)
1
Scooby-Doo
3,447
New
56.4
56.4
2
The Bourne Identity
2,638
New
27.5
27.5
3
Windtalkers
2,898
New
14.5
14.5
4
The Sum of All Fears
3,230
+12
13.5
84.5
5
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
2,507
No change
9.8
34.9
6
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
2,401
-760
9.2
270.5
7
Spider-Man
2,702
-533
7.4
382.4
8
Bad Company
2,944
No change
6.1
21.8
9
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
2,873
-489
5.5
63.8
10
Undercover Brother
1,832
-337
4.6
31.6
11
Insomnia
1,929
-529
3.6
58.5
12
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
455
+10
1.8
13.7

     


 
 

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