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Weekend Box Office

by Brandon Gray
May 17, 1999

With The Phantom Menace looming, The Mummy fell an unexpected 43% to $24.9 million. Still, it has accumulated $80.6 million in just ten days. In comparison, Deep Impact also dropped 43% in its second week and had a $74 million ten-day total.

My suspicions over A Midsummer Night's Dream's potential were confirmed, as it only managed to gross $4.3 million, similar to Les Miserables' $5.0 million last May. Intended as counter-programming like The Horse Whisperer was on this weekend last year, a small marketing campaign and low media coverage combined with mixed reviews kept it from breaking out. However, the picture did have a low enough budget to at least break even in the long run.

Black Mask and Trippin' both held up well over the weekend for niche releases, making $4.4 and $2.5 million respectively. Trippin' had a notable Saturday build over Friday of 51%, while Black Mask had the lowest Sunday decline of the top ten.

Life took in $2.9 million, down only 20%. Now, how does a picture that has been consistently dropping more than 40% a week suddenly sprout legs? By adding grosses from a sneak preview. In this case, Universal stable mate Notting Hill played in Life's place Saturday night at most of its 856-theater sneak. With a reported 90% attendance, it probably added as much as $600,000 to Life's gross.

Forecast results: As a consolation prize, my predicted overall gross of the top ten was dead on, but I was way off on the individual pictures. My year-to-date accuracy fell .64%, a huge drop for only one week. What can I say? It was a weird weekend. Entrapment and a few others held up almost suspiciously well, while Black Mask and Trippin' were completely out of my radar. Perhaps the closeness of The Phantom Menace warped this weekend like a magnet to a TV screen.

For more results, check out Weekend Box Office.



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