News

'Mr. Deeds' Goes to Town as 'Stitch' and 'Minority' Have Another Photo Finish

by Brandon Gray
July 1, 2002

Mr. Deeds inherited a box office fortune over the weekend ending June 30.

The loose remake of the 1936 Frank Capra picture Mr. Deeds Goes to Town starring Adam Sandler in the Gary Cooper role grabbed $37,167,787 at 3,231 theaters, the third-biggest opening of Sandler's career after Big Daddy ($41,536,370) and The Waterboy ($39,414,071). It also marks a comeback for Sandler after the 2000 dud Little Nicky, which mustered $39,464,775 in its entire run or less than a quarter of the $160 million plus tallies of Big Daddy and The Waterboy.

Taking advantage of a marketplace light on comedy, Mr. Deeds actually opened on the same weekend that Big Daddy did in 1999, suggesting that Deeds was positioned to mimic that picture's success. It was even replete with a similarly down-to-earth Sandler and the same comedic beats in the marketing campaign.

Breaking the weekend down, Deeds brought in $14,261,932 on Friday, dipped 10% to $12,828,631 on Saturday and another 21.5% on Sunday to $10,072,224. By comparison, Big Daddy took in $14,500,000 on its first Friday, was unchanged on Saturday and eased 15.2% on Sunday to $12,312,000. Deeds' pattern, though, appears to be more akin to last June's The Fast and the Furious, which had a $15,215,000 million Friday but ended the weekend with $40,089,015. Both Big Daddy and The Fast and the Furious tumbled 50% or more in their second weekends.

The heated battle between Disney's Lilo & Stitch and Fox's Minority Report continued through their sophomore sessions, but this time it was Disney that overestimated the most. On Sunday, Stitch was pegged at $22,200,000 and second place while Minority was at $21,630,000 for third. When the actual numbers were tabulated on Monday, Fox's Minority estimate was on the money—unlike last weekend when they were $1.2 million off—as the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller beat the mischievous alien mutant by just $74,526.

The $102 million Minority Report slowed 39% to $21,590,412, propelling it to $73,424,800 in 10 days. The $80 million Lilo & Stitch came in at $21,515,886, also down 39%. However, it's ahead in total gross with $77,086,002, thanks to the weekday advantage it has as a family flick in the summertime.

Scooby-Doo scooped up $12,362,423 after a precipitous 49% drop. In 17 days, the $84 million adaptation has scarfed down $123,950,021. Enjoying the smallest decline of all very wide releases, The Bourne Identity nabbed $11,197,915, down 26%. With $72,902,425 in the till after 17 days, the $60 million spy thriller is a lock to cross the $100 million mark by the end of its run.

Fox was involved in another flip-flop. On Sunday, MGM had Windtalkers at No. 9 with $3,600,000, and Fox had Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones at No. 10 with $3,560,000. The order reversed on Monday as Clones came in at $3,668,293, down just 29% for a 46-day haul of $286,253,833. Windtalkers ended up with $3,501,253, a 47% retreat for $33,175,859 in 17 days. Both pictures cost about $115 million to make.

Hey Arnold! The Movie broke the winning streak that Monsters, Inc. started last November by becoming the first family flick not to do strong business. Based on the Nickelodeon show, the animated movie managed just $5,706,332 at 2,527 venues. However, its budget was low enough that it could become profitable down the line, especially on home video. The ad campaign emphasized the brazenly anti-corporate plotline, yet the irony is that the picture was the product of the major corporation Viacom, which owns both its distributor Paramount and Nickelodeon among many other things.

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE CHART

The top 12 pictures grossed $131.4 million, down 12.6% from last weekend but an 11.5% improvement over the same frame last year when A.I. Artificial Intelligence topped the chart with $29,352,630 at 3,242 theaters en route to $78,616,689. The Fast and the Furious decelerated 50% to $20,054,890 on course $144,533,925, while Dr. Dolittle 2 was in at No. 3, down 37% to $15,812,072 on its way to $112,952,899. Baby Boy bounced into 1,533 venues and grabbed $8,606,403 on track to $28,734,552, crazy/beautiful took in $4,715,060 at 1,601 on course to $16,937,988, and Pootie Tang was small pimpin' with $1,506,233 at 712 $3,313,583.



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