Mid-Week Box Office Analysis

By David Parker

August 30, 2003

Guess what?  I got Battlefield Earth 2 greenlit!

Summer days driftin' away...Fall may not be officially begin until September 21st, but in the box office world, summer ends right before Labor Day.

No film even earned $900,000 on Thursday. That's a sharp fall from the $2.2 million Freddy vs. Jason made last Thursday. Even that $2.2 million pales in comparison to the $6 milllion to $7 million figures that Pirates of the Caribbean raked in daily back in July. Last week, in my ambivalence over the underwhelming daily numbers I forgot to mention two significant milestones. First, Finding Nemo passed the IMAX-enhanced box office total of The Lion King. The mighty fish movie's number now stands at $330.4 million and number eight on the all-time chart. Secondly, Freddy vs. Jason passed A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 as the biggest film of either Freddy or Jason series. Kudos to New Line, Pixar and Disney.

S.W.A.T. is still the number one film of the week. Earning $4.1 since Monday and $870,000 million on Thursday, the Colin Farrell film is knocking on the door of the $100 million mark. With $91.9 million after Thursday and the four-day Labor Day Weekend approaching, S.W.A.T. could end up with $102 million by Monday. Although this was a a costly venture, no one could have expected a generic action film like this one to earn much more.

Freaky Friday, Open Range, Pirates of the Caribbean and Seabiscuit should see the greatest benefit from the holiday on Monday. Coincidentally, they are also the four films that hold up the best during the weekend and the weekdays. Pirates of the Caribbean's treasure chest weighs in at $264.2 million. The Matrix Reloaded will have no chance to parley with the pirates as the Disney film should get to $272 million after the holiday and will most likely pass the Wachowski Brothers sequel in two weeks. Seabiscuit should be able to pass $100 million this weekend with a $115 million to $120 million total most likely. Freaky Friday has made $78.2 million so far and $3.8 million this week. Another $9 million for a third place finish should make the mouse house very happy. With a production budget of $20 million, Open Range is already a success for Disney at $32.7 million after Thursday. What's most impressive about that total is a) it's a western and b) it stars Kevin Costner. Either of those characteristics is usually box office poison for a film, but combined should mean an albatross around the neck of the studio making the film, right? Not if that studio is Disney. Open Range could make another $10 million this four-day holiday weekend and could end with $75 million domestically. Good going, Kevin.

The top ten films earned $6.6 million yesterday, which is 8% lower than Wednesday and a whopping 45% lower than last Thursday showing that summer days really are gone.

Check back later today when Tim Briody will analyze Friday numbers and Sunday when John Hamann will have the weekend wrapup.



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