True to its counter-programming aspirations, the "ultimate romantic comedy" played predominantly to those over the age of 30 (71%) and to females (69%). It was a more successful bid in the face of The Matrix Revolutions than Down with Love was opposite The Matrix Reloaded. The Renee Zelleweger romantic comedy fizzled last May with a $7,001,906 weekend at 2,123 theaters on its way to $20,305,251.
Boding well for Love Actually is that Working Title's romantic comedies, which almost invariably feature Hugh Grant, tend to open modestly and then enjoy leggy runs.
Last year's About a Boy debuted to a $8,557,630 weekend at 1,207 theaters and closed with $41,385,278, while 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary started with $10,733,933 at 1,611 venues on its way to $71,543,427.
Most comparable in terms of scope of release, 1994's Four Weddings and a Funeral expanded to 552 theaters in its fifth weekend and earned $3,944,203 or about $5.9 million adjusted for ticket price inflation. It went on to gross $52,700,832 (or around $79 million adjusted).
Distributor Universal will unspool Love Actually at around 600 more venues on Nov. 14 and has penciled in another 600-theater expansion on Nov. 21 for a total of around 1,800.
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