Weekly Chart Review: 'Kingdom' Comes to an End
by Brandon Gray
September 3, 2005
|Orlando Bloom (center) stars in Kingdom of Heaven|
A guide to the significant happenings at the box office for the week ending Sept. 1, 2005.
After 119 days, Kingdom of Heaven's theatrical campaign was cut off on Sept. 1 by distributor 20th Century Fox. Director Ridley Scott's Crusades epic, which had a production budget of at least $130 million at stake, grossed $47.4 million. The picture was the first major release of the summer season on May 6, along with House of Wax, yet claimed a lackluster $19.6 million opening weekend and quickly lost ground after that.
With Scott at the helm and the summer kick-off, Kingdom of Heaven tried to emulate the success of Scott's Gladiator in 2000, but lacked that picture's clear, relatable and inspiring storyline that was needed to sell a historical epic. The Medieval Times tends to be an unappealing subject matter theatrically—in the sub-genre, only Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves topped $100 million—and has spawned many major flops in recent memory, including King Arthur, Timeline and First Knight.
Like recent historical epics Troy, King Arthur and Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven saved face overseas. Its foreign haul of $163.1 million more than tripled the domestic gross.
Also closing this week was Fox Searchlight's Millions. The family picture from 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle collected a decent $6.6 million in 175 days, playing at 340 theaters at its widest point. After a banner 2004 that included Sideways, Napoleon Dynamite and Garden State, Fox Searchlight has been quiet in 2005, with the Woody Allen comedy, Melinda and Melinda, their only other new release.
Kingdom of Heaven's DVD debut is scheduled for Oct. 11, while Millions' is set for Nov. 1.
Releated Charts: Medieval Times Movies, DVD Release Schedule
Like Kingdom of Heaven, domestic dud, The Island, is proving more appealing overseas. The sci-fi action picture, which cost about $126 million to make, crossed the $100 million mark in foreign grosses this week, dwarfing its $35.7 million domestic take.
Related Charts: 2005 Worldwide Grosses, Near Future Movies
For the week, overall box office came in at $134.9 million, led again by The 40-Year-Old Virgin with $23.1 million. Business was off 17 percent from last week and down five percent from the corresponding week in 2004, when Hero and Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid debuted.
The annual total for 2005 rose to $6.0 billion, trailing 2004 by $612 million at the same point. Percentage-wise, the summer deficit is more pronounced. At $3.45 billion, the season is down 12 percent from comparable period in 2004.
Related Charts: Year-to-Date Comparison, 2005 Grosses
• 8/30/05 - Around the World Roundup: 'Island' Sails Past Century Mark
• 8/29/05 - 'Virgin,' 'Grimm' Tops on Glum Weekend
• 8/27/05 - Weekly Chart Review: 'New World' Ships to Christmas
• 5/9/05 - 'Kingdom' of Limbo, 'House' of Lax