News

'Jason X,' 'Life' Feel the Sting of 'The Scorpion King'

by Brandon Gray
April 29, 2002

With the Spider-Man buzz in full swing, the box office felt one last sting from The Scorpion King as newcomers Jason X and Life, or Something Like It were lost in the shuffle.

The $60 million Mummy spin-off tumbled 50% to $18 million for a 10-day haul of $61.3 million. Coming off an April record-setting $36.1 million debut, the drop was reasonable given star The Rock's rabid fan base and how movies targeting young males often see even steeper declines. By comparison, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns fell 43% and 50% respectively in their second weekends. Unlike its predecessors, though, it will be a struggle for The Scorpion King to reach the $100 million mark.

Changing Lanes maintained its grip on second place with $9 million. The $45 million road rage drama decelerated just 19%, propelling its 17-day total to $44.6 million. At this pace, it could end up with around $70 million.

Evil may have gotten an upgrade, but few moviegoers cared. Boasting the widest release ever for a Friday the 13th flick—1,878 theaters—Jason X yielded the franchise's least attended opening, grossing $6.6 million in third place. Jason Voorhees' sci-fi makeover wasn't nearly as successful as the tongue-in-cheek resurrection of another horror franchise, Child's Play in 1998's Bride of Chucky ($11.8 million en route to $32.4 million). Besides such other boogeymen as Pinhead and Leprechaun had already gone to space. However, with a low $11 million budget, Jason X should at least recoup its costs on home video.

After a soft $9.3 million opening last weekend, Murder by Numbers slipped a modest 32% to $6.4 million. The Sandra Bullock serial killer thriller has tracked down $18.4 million in 10 days, its case likely getting closed at around $30 million.

Angelina Jolie's first attempt at carrying a movie on her own, Life, or Something Like It, was D.O.A. with $6.2 million from 2,606 theaters, nearly two-thirds of its audience female and 53% over the age of 25. The romantic comedy was unable to distinguish itself in a marketplace rife with other movies appealing to the same demographic. Not helping matters was the brunette Jolie playing against type, sporting distractingly bleach blonde hair. Thanks to movies like Tomb Raider, Gone in 60 Seconds and Girl Interrupted, she's cultivated an image as a tough chick and/or wild child, not as an uptight comic lead.

Among holdovers, The Rookie enjoyed the smallest decline of all wide releases for the second weekend in a row. The $22 million baseball picture slid a mere 13% to $5.6 million and has become a major league success with $60.8 million earned after 31 days. Fellow family flick Ice Age held up nearly as well. The $65 million computer-animated comedy dipped 15% to $5.0 million, raising its 45-day total to $165.8 million.

Click here to view this weekend's Top 60 chart.

The top 12 pictures grossed $70.9 million, down 23.8% from last weekend but a 28.8% improvement over the same frame last year when Sylvester Stallone's racing drama Driven skidded into first place with $12.2 million from 2,905 venues en route to $32.7 million. The $90 million romantic comedy Town & Country became one of the biggest bombs of all time, debuting with $3 million from 2,222 theaters and ending its run at $6.7 million. Low budget vampire flick The Forsaken could drain just $3 million from its 1,514-theater release, getting staked at $7.3 million. Meanwhile, One Night at McCool's could only work up $2.5 million from 1,818 venues, fizzling out at $6.3 million.

Next weekend, the summer movie season is poised for a scorching start with the arrival of Spider-Man. Spinning a 3,000-plus-theater web, the Marvel-ous superhero adventure looks like it will shatter the May opening weekend record ($72.1 million posted by 1997's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park") and score the second-biggest debut ever in the process. As an afterthought, gangster flick Deuces Wild and Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending aim for a few counter-programming dollars at around 1,450 and 750 theaters respectively.



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