Friday Box Office Analysis (6/11)
The Chronicles of Riddick poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published June 12, 2004
Debuting to Dawn of the Dead numbers, Vin Diesel returned to the Pitch Black series, pulling in a very nice opening night bow, one of which that might?ve been even more impressive with 3,000+ theaters (it is fairly surprising Universal didn?t exploit this one with a 3,400 range count). The sci-fi action flick grossed $10.3 million on Friday in 2,759 theaters, averaging $3,722 per-screen. Armed with a safe PG-13 rating this time (Pitch Black was R), the movie could easily admit teenagers who might?ve been refused into the first, though the R-rated argument might be a little outdated by now (back when American Pie was released, R-ratings were a problem, though rarely are today).

The Chronicles of Riddick opened in line with Dawn of the Dead ($10.9 million - $3,956 per-screen), though it might face a slightly smoother ride considering it is not a horror flick. Dawn had the opening night rush factor amongst excited teens and young adults who were ready for a gory fun time, which led to a Saturday gross of $9.7 million ($3,550 per-screen) and a $26.7 million weekend. Traditionally horror movies (mostly those aimed at young audiences) don?t receive a decent Saturday incline, and since Riddick is probably not the type of flick that ?has? to be seen on Friday night, a holdup (if not a slight Saturday increase) could be in store. For the weekend, The Chronicles of Riddick should be headed for roughly $27 - 28 million.

Nicole Kidman and company proved to be strong sells at the box office on Friday, as the remake of The Stepford Wives took in $8.2 million, averaging a very lively $2,673 per-screen. The quirky comedy outpaced director Frank Oz?s previous entries, The Score ($6.1 million - $2,869 per-screen), as well as Bowfinger ($5.8 million - $2,154 per-screen), and easily outdid Kidman?s spooky story, The Others ($4.8 million - $2,831 per-screen). Per-screen average wise, though, Stepford is about in line with The Others and The Score.

The movie has gotten unenthusiastic reactions from critics, though with nothing out to see for adults (particularly women) Stepford was the much-needed refuge, offering a fun ensemble cast. Should The Stepford Wives carry out the weekend like The Score, its weekend tally will be about $25 million; in the footsteps of The Others would put the movie on pace for around $24 million. The film has the advantage of aiming at an adult audience that doesn?t tend to rush out on opening day, which might allow for a healthy second day incline (and Sunday is traditionally strong with older demographics during matinees and afternoon shows).

With an ad-campaign that received a big, fat L-A-M-E response from anyone over the age of 10, the big-screen adaptation of Garfield nevertheless scored big with child audiences, luring in $8.0 million on Friday. Averaging a potent $2,579 per-screen from 3,094 theaters, the animated flick scored alongside Scooby-Doo 2, which pulled in $8.6 million and $2,601 per-screen. Garfield was surprisingly able to outshine Daddy Day Care ($7.6 million - $2,255 per-screen), and proved to be a bit more appealing than a kangaroo stealing a bag of money in the desert.

With summer already in session for many kids (allowing Friday to be strong), it isn?t entirely clear whether Garfield?s business will increase by a significant measure on Saturday (or even a decent margin). Scooby-Doo 2 jumped to $12.7 million ($3,848 per-screen) in its second day, though it opened in March when Friday wasn?t an easy day for every parent to take kids. In comparison, the first Scooby-Doo raked in $19.2 million on its June 14 release date, only rising to a $19.7 million Saturday (though Scooby did have the benefit of a wider demographic range willing to see it, which likely helped Friday). For the weekend, Garfield should capture about $24 - 26 million.
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'The Chronicles of Riddick' Articles
  • Gareth's The Chronicles of Riddick review B
    June 11, 2004    A surprisingly deep and involving action film that is light years ahead of most its genre and is a great surprise in what has been a summer of underachieving films. -- Gareth Von Kallenbach