Monday, August 15, 2005

Singleton + Four Brothers = One Big Hit


There was a killing at the box office this weekend as John Singleton's revenge thriller Four Brothers, starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Andre Benjamin, got payback on Hollywood with an opening weekend gross of roughly $20.7 million, an average of over $8,100 per theatre. It's another coup in a summer where remakes and sequels were scoffed at in favor of original ideas.

And the victim of this killing? Sony Pictures' sequel-that-no-one-wanted Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, starring Rob Schneider and Eddie Griffin. The original movie earned $65 million over the 1999 holiday season, but its sequel earned only $9.4 million its opening weekend to end up in fifth place. It ended up making less than half as much as Four Brothers in 600 more theaters with a pitiful average of $3,000 per theatre. It's another in a long line of bombs for Sony Pictures in a summer that started out with their disastrous sequel, XXX: State of the Union.

Meanwhile, Universal's "hoodoo" thriller The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson, also had a healthy first weekend, opening in 2nd place with roughly $15.8 million, reviving the floundering horror genre, after a summer where they haven't done particularly well. If it follows the pattern set by other early August thrillers like The Others and The Sixth Sense, it should do decent business in the next few weeks.

Third and fourth place were snatched up by last week's #1 The Dukes of Hazzard and New Line's runaway comedy hit, Wedding Crashers. The former took a 58% tumble in its second weekend, grossing $13 million, which brought its total to $57.5 million. (The comedy remake cost $50 million to make, not including the marketing and promotional budget.) The latter may not hit $200 million this summer, but with an additional $12 million in its 5th weekend, its total is now past $164 million.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory took sixth place with $7.3 million; it has grossed over $183 million so far. The documentary March of the Penguins has shown amazing staying power, adding another $6.7 million--off only 5% from last weekend--and bringing its total to $37.6 million after 8 weeks.

Sky High and Must Love Dogs were #7 and 8, respectively.

After sitting on the shelf for many years, Miramax's war drama, The Great Raid, directed by John "Rounders" Dahl, took tenth place this weekend with a decent take of $3.3 million in only 819 theatres. It's not a great opening, but better than most expected considering its lack of starpower and marketing.

In limited release, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray, nearly tripled its box office in its second weekend, expanding into 118 theatres in major markets and earning $1.7 million, roughly $14,000 per theatre. Werner Herzog's nature documentary Grizzly Man, about the life and death of environmentalist Timothy Treadwell, grossed $265,000 its opening weekend in just 29 theatres, an average of $9,137 per theatre.