Box Office Forecast
by Brandon Gray
June 3, 1999
This third weekend will be the true test of The Phantom Menace's longevity. There's no real new competition, but it is its first normal weekend after the hyped opening and the Memorial holiday. So it should also see a more normal decline in the 35% range. This could even be its last weekend at the #1 spot, as next week the summer season gets into full swing with the Austin Powers sequel.
Instinct is the only new wide release. Like Notting Hill, it is counter-programming to The Phantom Menace. However, this is one of those movies with a ubiquitous trailer that merely drums up indifference. The ad campaign even feebly tries to invoke Anthony Hopkins' most famous role when he says "therapy" in his Hannibal Lecter voice. Hopkins' last foray into the wild was The Edge, which opened with $7.7 million. Expect Instinct to perform in a similarly modest way.
I don't have much more to say on the weekend. Traditionally, the weekend after Memorial Day is when the box office takes a breather and kicks back before the summer onslaught.
Editor's Note: Articles published before 2001 were assigned and reported as box office briefings, not a full evaluation or analysis.