Although Halloween proved pretty frightful for theaters Friday night, business rebounded Saturday and Miramax/Dimension's "Scary Movie 3" held on to the No. 1 spot in its second weekend with an estimated $21.1 million.
Skipping Halloween, Disney's traditionally animated "Brother Bear" expanded from two theaters to 3,030 nationwide Saturday and came in second with an estimated $18.5 million.
Overall box office numbers were off 42% on Friday from the roughly comparable day last year when "Jackass: The Movie" opened, one executive estimated, so Disney was smart to avoid a slow opening day. Disney head of distribution Chuck Viane noted that in recent years Halloween has grown to be as popular for adults as for kids, so the company decided not to compete.
"Brother Bear" averaged $6,118 per theater for its two days, comparing favorably with "Scary Movie 3's" $6,019 per theater in a larger engagement of 3,505 venues. The 10-day gross for "Scary Movie 3," which was down 56% from its record October opening of $48.1 million, is $78.6 million.
Among films opening in limited release, Miramax's "The Human Stain" grossed $1.1 million, taking in a solid $7,025 per theater in 160 locations. Miramax estimated the audience for "Human Stain" was 60% female and tilted to females over age 25.
Lions Gate reported strong business for "Shattered Glass," the film about journalistic fabricator Stephen Glass, which took in an estimated $80,000, or $10,000 per theater in eight venues.
Twentieth Century Fox's "Alien: The Director's Cut" brought in just over $1 million in 347 theaters and $1.3 million since its opening Wednesday.
In its third weekend, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" managed to hold its weekend-to-weekend drop to 24%, very good for a horror movie. The New Line Cinema remake came in third with an estimated $10.9 million Friday through Sunday and has grossed $66.1 million through its third weekend. By comparison, the movie's second weekend decline was 48.5%.
Three adult-oriented movies, "Radio," "Runaway Jury" and "Mystic River," are holding up OK, with "Radio" down 23% from last week's opening, "Jury" off by just 18% in its third weekend and "River" by 19% in its fourth. Sony/Revolution's "Radio" grossed $10.2 million at No. 4, Fox's "Jury" took in $6.8 in fifth place and Warner Bros.' "River" took in $6.3 million in sixth.
Grossing an estimated $4.7 million in seventh place, Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol. 1" also managed to stem its decline to 25% in its fourth weekend. The film has grossed nearly $61 million. "Kill Bill" previously dropped 43.8% in its second weekend and 48.8% in its third.
Solid Saturday and Sunday estimates were not enough to keep the weekend's top 10 films from falling 24% overall from last weekend and 10% from the comparable weekend last year, according to box office tracking firm Nielsen EDI Inc.
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Preliminary results based on studio projections.
*--* Movie 3-day gross Total (millions)
*--* Scary Movie 3 $21.1 $78.6
Brother Bear 18.5* 18.9
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 10.9 66.1
Radio 10.2 26.8
Runaway Jury 6.9 33.7
Mystic River 6.3 33.6
Kill Bill Vol. 1 4.7 61.0
School of Rock 4.4 69.1
Intolerable Cruelty 2.7 32.0
In the Cut 2.3 2.5 *Two-day gross. Source: Nielsen EDI Inc. Los Angeles Times