Friday Box Office Analysis (4/1)
Sin City poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published April 2, 2005
Its durability will be very questionable, and considering it?s even more of a cult film than Kill Bill, it stands a chance of dropping like a rock.
Sin City repeated the success of Kill Bill: Volume 2 on Friday, bringing in a mighty $11.6 million ($3,579 average in 3,230 theaters), an especially strong gross for an R-rated comic book flick. Tarantino?s Kill Bill sequel had earned $10.6 million for a $3,551 per-screen average, and had tapped into a very similar cult audience. Sin City?s debut is also impressive given that it?s a lone installment rather than a sequel, though it had the benefit of Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino?s names behind it.

Its durability beyond opening day will be very questionable, and considering it?s even more of a cult film than Kill Bill: Volume 1 or Volume 2 (given the black and white nature, and the hardcore edge in the material), it stands a chance of dropping like a rock. Hardcore enthusiasts were likely to have rushed out on opening night, and many less knowledgeable moviegoers are bound to shrug their shoulders at the contents that unfold. Volume 1 and Volume 2 managed to draw in solid word of mouth given that both had an actual story, whereas the lack of a premise (including an emotional arc) could hinder Sin City?s legs, giving it very limited appeal beyond fan boys.

Volume 1 dropped only 2% on its second day from its $8.0 million debut, but it hadn?t caught on totally with mainstream audiences yet (there wasn?t enough of a fan base yet to have a scary drop). Volume 2 dropped a deadlier 19% from its opening day, and a movie with a similar cult following, Chronicles of Riddick, slid 15% from $9.9 million. Sin City?s Saturday drop could be right around 20%, but the vastly controversial material could even push that decline as high as 30%. The only movie that has received such a harsh fallout was the re-release of Grease, which had dropped 32% from its $6.1 million ($2,975/screen) Friday gross. Sin City?s weekend could be in line with Volume 2 at roughly $25.0 million, or up to $28.0 million in an optimistic viewpoint. Whatever the figure ends up being, the film is bound to be dead by next week.

Though not exactly the best comparison universally, Beauty Shop opened in line with Uptown Girls, grossing $4.5 million for a reasonable $1,677 average in 2,659 theaters. Beauty Shop lacked the star-power of its brother, Barbershop ($6.8 million), and came even further from the debut of the sequel ($8.1 million), which featured Queen Latifah. The awkward casting this time around and the tame ad-campaign likely played a part in the softer opening, and judging from the ads the movie fails to offer guys the entertainment value that both Barbershops provided; it?s obviously a chick flick.

Uptown Girls debuted in August when the theater is the place to be on opening night, and it fell 6% to $4.0 million and $1,618 per-screen. The first Barbershop rose 23% while the sequel jumped 30%. Given the lack of appeal for the male audience, the incline could be slightly under 20%, or in the high 20% range if it?s lucky. Beauty Shop?s weekend should look like $13 - 14 million.
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'Sin City' Articles
  • Scott's Top 10 Films of 2005
    January 7, 2006    What I really love about {Sin City} is that it pushes the boundaries of cinema; love it or hate it, you have to admit that you?ve never seen anything like it. -- Scott Sycamore
  • Scott's Sin City review A
    April 12, 2005    This movie is a big neon middle finger to all those who think they know what movies should be like. -- Scott Sycamore
  • Craig's Sin City review D+
    April 2, 2005    It has no story to speak of other than to show how decent its heroes are and how deranged its villains are, while keeping us from caring about them. -- Craig Younkin
  • Weekend Outlook Chat (April 1 - 3)
    March 31, 2005    I have a feeling this is going to be similar {to Team America}: the film could play really well in specific cities, or college towns, but not so great elsewhere. -- Staff of LMI
  • Craig's Spring Movie Preview
    February 27, 2005    Filled with danger and mystery at every turn, this is one of the greatest looking trailers I've ever seen. -- Craig Younkin