News

Weekend Box Office

by Brandon Gray
July 25, 1999

Two remakes dominated the box office this past weekend. They were so transparently bad that I thought the public would ignore them, but I was wrong.

The only thing scary about The Haunting was its opening weekend. It exceeded everyone's expectations and grossed $33.4 million. I was way off with my prediction. Hey, it happens occasionally. Perhaps I let my disdain for it get in the way of objectively determining its potential. After all, there certainly was enough room for it and it didn't have significant direct competition. Furthermore, that PG-13 rating allowed kids to get in without hassle. Meanwhile, Inspector Gadget grossed a strong $21.9 million. It benefited more than expected from being the first major kids targeted picture in a month.

The Blair Witch Project had yet another astounding weekend, only this time with a bit of controversy. The weekend gross was reported as $2 million from 31 theaters. That amounts to a $63,812 average, 14% higher than last weekend's phenomenal $56,002 average. Now, averages tend to drop rather than rise when theaters are added. Apparently, to achieve this they added screens to existing theaters. That's what boosted the average. The strange thing is that the daily grosses were reported as $456,215 on Friday and $519,500 on Saturday. That would give it a weekend total of around $1.5 million, not $2 million. Perhaps the dailies were misreported.

Eyes Wide Shut took an even bigger hit than expected, plummeting 54% to $10.1 million. It looks like it's on track to top out at around $65 million.

Editor's Note: Articles published before 2001 were assigned and reported as box office briefings, not a full evaluation or analysis.



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