Ya Ya for Ya-Ya;
No Company for Bad Company

John Hamann's Weekend Wrap-Up

June 7 - June 9, 2002

Testosterone-free zones are creepy places.  Where's all the spitting?

It was that kind of weekend. The blockbuster action-comedy film looked ready to thump the competition, but it came up short. Bad Company, with Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock, is from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, bringer of such box-office hits as Top Gun and Armageddon. On the other hand, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood opened strongly, mostly due to a strong following and a severe lack of genre competition. Ya-Ya got by Star Wars and Spider-Man, as their grosses begin to level off. Five films managed to end the weekend with more than $10 million in box-office receipts, with one just missing.

This weekend, perceived quality influenced the box office. Bad Company is another film that was impacted by September 11th. Originally scheduled for last fall, Touchstone (Disney) decided to move the film all the way back to summer, as the plot revolved around terrorism. Another Touchstone film, Big Trouble, was also rescheduled due to 9/11 and that film also flopped. In fact, Touchstone has had some troubles with their last few films. Check out the chart below for some of their recent releases.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Big Trouble' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Sorority Boys' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Count of Monte Cristo, The' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Out Cold' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Corky Romano' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Bubble Boy' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Princess Diaries, The'" sqlstr = sqlstr + " ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Touchstone Chart" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>

The number-one film this week for the second weekend in a row is The Sum of All Fears, the homeland terrorism flick starring Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan. Sum held fairly well in its second weekend, grossing $18.7 million from 3,218 screens, good for an OK screen average of $5,811. Sum lost 40% of its audience compared to last weekend. Already at $61.8 million, Sum looks good to pass Patriot Games ($82.88 million) in overall sales, but will have to work to beat Clear and Present Danger ($122.1 million). Two more films that skew heavily male open next weekend: The Bourne Identity with Matt Damon and Windtalkers with Nic Cage. Quality issues could hurt both those films as well.

Second spot went to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The film, based on a novel by Rebecca Wells, grossed a surprise $16.35 million over the weekend from only 2,507 venues for a great theatre average of $6,522. With About a Boy and Unfaithful not really catching on after their second weekends and with Enough flopping hard, the female sector of the moviegoing audience is currently severely under-served. In addition, the book has a large number of fan clubs in North America dedicated to it, and the members of those clubs really pushed the opening of this movie.

Ya-Ya certainly doesn't lack for star-power. The cast consists of Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd, Maggie Smith and James Garner. Critics were mixed right down the middle, with a 44% positive score at Rottentomatoes.com (38/86 positive). Cinemascores were As pretty much all around, with females liking it only slightly better then men. Compared to other chick flicks, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood holds up quite well. Check out the chart below for comparisons.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Autumn in New York' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Return to Me' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Anywhere But Here' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Boys on the Side' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Before Sunrise' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Double Jeopardy' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Ever After: A Cinderella Story' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Forces of Nature' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Hope Floats' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Message in A Bottle' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'You''ve Got Mail'" sqlstr = sqlstr + " ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Chick Flick chart" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>

Attack of the Clones is third this weekend, but the troubling news for George Lucas is that it could finish as low as seventh next weekend, with three new, high-profile films hitting the chart in the next frame. This weekend, AotC grossed $13.88 million, down 34% from the weekend before. When Phantom Menace opened in 1999, its fourth week gross was $25.7 million, and its tally stood at $297 million. That compares to AotC's current gross of $255 million.

Fourth this weekend is the week's other opener, Bad Company. The star power of Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock couldn't save this turkey. Bad Company was lucky to gross $10.46 million this weekend from 2,944 screens, and had a not-so-good screen average of $3,553. Jerry Bruckheimer is known for June blockbusters, but this certainly isn't one of them. He's also known for review-proof movies, so I don't think that is what hurt this movie. The marketing wasn't up to the usual Bruckheimer standards; too much standing around and not enough action. And the repetitiveness that Gone in 60 Seconds had was also not seen for this release. Jerry might have been too busy with his TV series (Amazing Race 1+2, CSI), but with ten producers on this project, you might think they'd get it right. The reviews at RT were horrible; a wretched seven of 78 reviews were positive, for an ultra-low score of 9%.

Joel Schumacher directed this project after making a couple of small films that didn't tear up the marketplace: Flawless with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Tigerland with Colin Farrell. Schumacher is the one responsible for destroying the Batman franchise with the last two turkeys, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Next up for Joel is the low-budget Phone Booth, and then Veronica Guerin, starring Cate Blanchett.

<% sqlstr = "SELECT * FROM box WHERE" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like '8MM' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Batman and Robin' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Time to Kill, A' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Batman Forever' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Client, The' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Falling Down' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Flatliners' OR" sqlstr = sqlstr + " movie like 'Dying Young'" sqlstr = sqlstr + " ORDER BY open DESC" max = 100 header = "Joel Schumacher Chart" tstyle = "release" skin = "bop" x = Drawtable(sqlstr,max,header,tstyle,skin) %>

Next weekend George Lucas will also have to look out for Spider-Man, as the web-slinger has almost caught AotC in the top ten. It grossed another $10 million this weekend as it finished in fifth place. Spidey is in its sixth week and dropped 30% compared to last weekend. Its total gross now stands at $370.1 million. Having now passed Jurassic Park ($357 million) on the-all time list, Spidey now has his sights set on The Phantom Menace, which grossed $431 million in 1999. It's going to be a close race.

Sixth this weekend goes to Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. This film has found a nice niche in the kids' flick market, with Star Wars Episode II under-performing. The animated DreamWorks flick grossed $9.43 million this weekend, dropping only 17% in its third weekend of release. Still on a very-wide 3,362 screens, to my surprise Spirit has now grossed $53.8 million, and looks to be headed towards the $80-90 million range.

Seventh this weekend is last weekend's under-performer, Undercover Brother. UB grossed a solid $7.31 million in its second weekend, dropping 39%. Brother is a great property for Universal Films; the box-office total has reached $23.6 million, and the sequel potential here is huge.

Eighth this weekend is Insomnia, the film that has dropped quickly since its opening weekend gross of $21 million. In its third weekend, Insomnia grossed $5.89 million, dropping 41% from last week's gross of $9.9 million. The total for the suspense thriller is $51.8 million, surpassing its production budget of $46 million.

Landing in ninth this weekend is Enough, starring Jennifer Lopez. Enough has chucked hard since its opening weekend, finding only $3.6 million in its third weekend. With $33.6 million in the bank, Enough is profitable, put probably a disappointment for the studio.

Way down in tenth this weekend is another Universal film, About a Boy. The Hugh Grant starrer grossed $2.74 million in its fourth weekend, raising its total to $32.5 million.

Overall, box-office dollars were evenly distributed throughout the top ten this weekend, as totals for the top ten reached $98.36 million for the June 7-9 weekend. Last year over the same weekend, the top ten box-office tally reached $93.076 million, a difference of 5.3%.

Next weekend is a big one at cineplexes as three high-profile films hit theatres. The long-awaited Scooby-Doo claws his way to the big screen, giving the kids some non-animated movie fodder. For the older sets, The Bourne Identity from Universal opens, and MGM finally lets Windtalkers out of its bag of tricks. Check out BOP's Release Schedule for more information.

Top 12 for Weekend of June 7 - June 9
Number of Sites
Change in Sites from Last
Estimated Gross ($)
Cumulative Gross ($)
The Sum of All Fears
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
No Change
Bad Company
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
No Change
Undercover Brother
About a Boy
My Big Fat Greek Wedding



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