'Polar Express' Runaway Train at the Box Office
December 13, 2004
FUELED BY ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCE RESPONSE, THE POLAR EXPRESS PROVES A RUNAWAY TRAIN AT THE BOX OFFICE, PUSHING CUMULATIVE GROSSES OVER $100 MILLION AND STILL GOING STRONG
Simultaneous IMAX Release Continues to Set Attendance Records
BURBANK, CA Dec. 13, 2004—The inspiring holiday adventure The Polar Express, from Warner Bros. Pictures, continues to defy conventional box office fall-off patterns with significantly increasing grosses that crossed the $100 million mark Friday and gained through the weekend for a cumulative total of $109,826,809 and no end in sight. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Still at full steam in its fifth week, The Polar Express remains the only movie in wide release setting an exceptional upward trend in box office receipts, grossing over $9.5 million this weekend and posting increases between 16% and 6% for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week over the same days the week prior. Since its November 10th theatrical debut, the film has generated a groundswell of enthusiastic word-of-mouth support from moviegoers, earning the uncommon honor of an A+ rating from CinemaScore exit polls.
"We are delighted to see how audiences across the country are responding to this extraordinarily uplifting film," said Fellman. "We had the highest expectations for it from the very beginning as the holiday classic that it is, and couldn't be happier that people are sharing the Polar Express experience with family and friends as it truly celebrates the season in a meaningful way. Whether seen in its 35 millimeter format or in the new IMAX 3D, it's a unique visual experience and a heartwarming story for all ages. We are thrilled to be a part of it."
Released simultaneously in 3D format as The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience, the film has broken IMAX attendance records and continues to post strong numbers in an upward trend paralleling the 35 millimeter release, with a cumulative gross of $16,447,650.
Spurred by the film's success, its first soundtrack single, "Believe," performed by Josh Groban, hit the #1 spot on Adult Contemporary charts and sales of the soundtrack have totaled more than 30,000 copies a week since its release, topping $150,000 in little over one month.
Polar fans have also driven Chris Van Allsburg's book, The Polar Express, on which the film is based, back onto national bestseller lists, including three weeks atop the USA Today Bestseller list and a #1 position on the New York Times Picture Book Bestseller list since October. With over 8 million copies already in print worldwide since its 1985 publication, the classic children's book sold an additional 1.5 million copies this year. Simultaneously, seven new books published by Houghton Mifflin as tie-ins to the film have sold a total 1.7 million copies, with three titles placing on the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list this month.
Castle Rock Entertainment Presents, in Association with Shangri-La Entertainment, a Playtone / ImageMovers / Golden Mean Production of a Robert Zemeckis Film: Tom Hanks in The Polar Express. Directed by Robert Zemeckis from a screenplay by Zemeckis & William Broyles, Jr., the film is produced by Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Goetzman and William Teitler and is based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. Tom Hanks, Jack Rapke and Chris Van Allsburg are the executive producers. The production team includes directors of photography Don Burgess, A.S.C. and Robert Presley; production designers Rick Carter and Doug Chiang; and editors Jeremiah O'Driscoll & R. Orlando Duenas. Senior visual effects supervisors are Ken Ralston and Jerome Chen. Co-producer is Steven Boyd. Music score is by Alan Silvestri, and original songs by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri. The Polar Express will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. Soundtrack album on Warner Sunset/Reprise Records. This film is rated G by the MPAA.
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