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A record $49.7 million for Scary Movie 3
Arthur J Pais | October 27, 2003 12:23 IST
Unafraid of the overwhelming negative reviews, fans flocked to Scary Movie 3, giving it a record $49.7 opening across North America in just three days.
Among the new releases, the Angelina Jolie film, Beyond Borders, which features her as a social worker in some of the most war-ravaged locations across the globe, was immediately exiled. With a $2 million gross, it opened at 11th place on the box-office chart.
Another well-intentioned film, Radio, starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Ed Harris, had a decent opening. The real-life story of a mentally challenged man encouraged by a high school football coach to rise against many odds grossed $14 million at third place.
The film, which set records for fall movie releases, earned more money in three days than Zucker's ill-fated My Boss's Wife in its recent three-week run.
The ensemble comedy Scary Movie 3 smashed the October record set last year when Red Dragon topped the charts with $36.5 million. It also became the highest grossing film for Miramax, which is owned by Walt Disney Co, earning significantly more than $42.4 million for the first Scary Movie three years ago. Miramax released Scary Movie franchise through its Dimension Films division reserved for horror films.
The first Scary Movie created by Wayan brothers, was a surprise hit in summer 2000, earning about $160 million in North America and about $100 million abroad. Scary Movie 2, which Hollywood insiders believe was rushed into theatres, was a huge disappointment. Even so, it grossed over $125 million worldwide, bringing in decent profits.
While the first two movies in the franchise were rated R, the third film has a PG-13 rating. Though Zucker's previous film was a bomb, his older fans came to see Scary Movie 3 in significant numbers because of his reputation as one of the brilliant spoof masters in Hollywood. And the younger fans of the franchise lined up following good buzz.
'David Zucker almost semi-invented this genre,' Miramax co-founder Bob Weinstein told reporters. 'You have those people who loved Airplane! but said, 'Ah, Scary Movie, that's not for me, then going, oh, Zucker's doing it?'
For critics like Chicago Tribune's Robert K Elder who declared 'it might be time to stick a fork in the franchise,' there is bad news: Miramax has already has the fourth film under production, and it is being directed by Zucker.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that seeks to really frighten the audience, held rather well with its 10-day gross reaching $51 million. At the current rate of attrition, the $9 million film is headed for a sumptuous $75-$80 million gross.
Suffering one of the worst declines over the weekend, Kill Bill Vol I still came up with a decent $5.9 million, reaching a $53 million total. With bigger numbers expected abroad, Quentin Tarantino's film which is already a certified hit in North America, will be another big profit-maker for Miramax.
Though Runaway Jury opened far below expectations, it is far from being a dud. With a mixed verdict from critics and audiences, the film which was at fourth place with a $24 million gross in 10 days, is headed for $40-$45 million gross. If the $40 million movie based on a John Grisham novel earns a similar amount abroad and has a good video and DVD sale, it could end up with a small profit.
Many critics found Radio, a story of friendship and mentoring by a white football coach of a mentally challenged black man, too syrupy and shallow, but a significant number of viewers embraced the film. They ignored reviewers like Claudia Puig of USA Today who declared that Radio needs to be turned off.
Clint Eastwood's sharp examination of sexual abuse of children and wages of violence, Mystic River, continues to enjoy a steady flow at the box-office. Though it is in just about 1,493 theatres, while most newer films are in more than 2,500, the film that is expecting major Oscar nominations has grossed over $24 million and remained at the fifth position like in the previous week.
Angelina Jolie, whose career had been on the skids with the also-ran Original Sin, and total dud Life Or Something Like It, also had a disappointing run with the second Lara Croft (Cradle Of Life) film early this year. The sequel grossed about $140 million worldwide but the film that cost about $100 million could still lose money if the video and DVD sales don't soar.
Though Beyond Borders cost a comparatively low $35 million, Hollywood insiders expect the film to be a total washout.
Scoring big numbers in limited release were Jane Campion's dark and erotic murder thriller In The Cut, starring Meg Ryan, and Gus Van Sant's minimalist Elephant, featuring a group of unknown and first-time teen actors in a drama loosely suggested by the Columbine school shootings. While the former took in $95,000 at six theatres, the latter, which won the top prize at last spring's Cannes Film Festival, grossed $90,000 in six theatres.
Though many critics called the film listless, Disney's latest animated saga Brother Bear debuted with fantastic grosses, taking in $285,000 in two New York City and Los Angeles theatres.
The movie, which features the voice of Joaquin Phoenix as an Inuit boy seeking to atone for the misdeeds that have turned him into a bear, expands to about 3,000 theatres the coming weekend.
The box office this week:
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