News

Weekend Box Office

by Brandon Gray
July 17, 2000

X-Men launched into action with an uncanny $54.5 million weekend from 3,025 theaters, averaging a stunning $18,007. Though it's $3 million less than the studio estimate, it's still quite a marvel given the more down to earth box office track record of superheroes besides Batman and Superman.

It's the sixth biggest opening weekend of all time, right behind The Spy Who Shagged Me's $54.9 million from last summer. It's also the biggest July and non-sequel openings ever. What's more, it's second only to Mission: Impossible 2's $57.8 million opening for the year.

For a superhero comparison, the first Batman made $40.5 million from 2,194 theaters on its opening weekend. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to about $52 million today. Throw in the more front-loaded nature of today's pictures and the wider releases, it's opening would likely have been in the low $60 million range today, not much higher than X-Men.

X marks the third consecutive $40 million plus opening after The Perfect Storm and Scary Movie. The summer season seems to be turning around after a soft May and June. While August is still questionable, this July could end up being a record-breaker.

Scary Movie grossed $26.2 million, or about what most thought it would do in its opening weekend. Apparently, buzz from its scary opening convinced others to check it out, allowing a drop of 38%, solid for the kind of picture it is. It has already grossed-out an estimated $89.1 million worth of ticket-buyers.

The Perfect Storm held up perfectly well, down another 37% to $17.1 million, capturing $128.5 million to date. The Patriot fought its way to $10.6 million, losing 31% of its ground. So far, the Revolutionary War epic has liberated $82.8 million from Americans' wallets.

While not Big, The Kid eased by just 17% in its second outing, by far the strongest hold of the weekend. Bruce Willis and his trusty moppet mopped up $10.5 million, maturing to $30 million to date.

Chicken Run's legs were second best, down just 20% to $7.9 million. Though these chickens literally have feet of clay, they sure aren't being hampered by it at the box office with $77 million grossed to date. They are now certain to fly over the $100 million coop.

In general, X-Men seemed to have a halo effect on the rest of the marketplace, or rather people who couldn't get tickets to its sold-out shows spilled over into other pictures. Even Me, Myself & Irene leveled off with a modest 32% drop to an estimated $5.7 million, while older action pictures Mission: Impossible 2 and Gone in 60 Seconds were each down 30%. The latter of which, surprisingly, has a good shot at the century mark with $91 million in the till to date.

The top 12 pictures totaled $144.8 million, up six percent over last weekend and up a whopping 35% over the same frame last year when Eyes Wide Shut debuted at the top spot with $21.7 million en route to $55.7 million total.

Next weekend finds Warner Bros. trying to milk the Pokemon fad for all it's worth before its inevitable death by releasing a sequel just eight months after the first one. Harrison Ford hopes to spook some life into his sagging box office appeal with the Fatal Attraction-meets-The Sixth Sense thriller What Lies Beneath. While Loser and The In-Crowd compete for teens.



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