October 18, 2005

‘Fog’ is clear winner atop weekend’s boxoffice heap

By Brian Fuson

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Three new wide releases
hit theaters this past weekend, but altogether they failed to
make much of a dent at the boxoffice, barely mustering a
combined $27 million among them.

Sony's "The Fog," a Revolution Studios production and a
remake of John Carpenter's 1980 horror film, debuted in the top
spot with a murky $11.8 million. The opening for "The Fog" will
be noted as the lowest gross for a No. 1 film at the boxoffice
since Labor Day weekend 2004.

DreamWorks' "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
proved to be one of the few bright spots this past weekend. The
G-rated claymation comedy placed second on its sophomore frame,
digging up $11.5 million, down a scant 28 percent from the
previous frame. The cheese-loving inventor and his faithful dog
have collected $33.1 million so far.

Paramount's "Elizabethtown" took up residence in the third
spot on its debut with an opening salvo of $10.6 million. But
while the opening was soft, the picture had the highest
per-theater average among the top-ranked films this past
weekend. The romantic comedy-drama from director Cameron Crowe
stars Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst.

New Line Cinema's "Domino," an action thriller based on a
true story about a fashion model turned bounty hunter, opened
in the seventh slot with a disappointing $4.7 million. Tony
Scott directed the picture, which stars Keira Knightley, Mickey
Rourke and Delroy Lindo.

Warner Bros. Pictures reached a milestone this past weekend
when the distributor crossed the $1 billion mark in domestic
revenue for the fifth consecutive year. While Buena Vista has
exceeded that mark more times than any other studio, no company
has ever hit $1 billion five years in a row. 20th Century Fox
-- the 2005 year-to-date market-share leader -- crossed the $1
billion mark in July.


With Major League Baseball championships also vying for
eyeballs this past weekend, the total boxoffice for the 120
films tracked by The Hollywood Reporter was $87.8 million, down
10 percent from the comparable session last year. With most of
the top-ranked films doing so poorly, it was the limited
releases and films lower in the rankings that helped buoy the
boxoffice overall.

Warner Independent Pictures' "Good Night, and Good Luck"
added 58 runs, bringing the count to 69, and grossed $1.2
million. The George Clooney-helmed drama, about the clash
between television news journalist Edward R. Murrow and Sen.
Joseph McCarthy, averaged a stout $18,039 per theater and has
collected $1.9 million to date.

Likewise, Sony Classics' "Capote" continues to shine at the
boxoffice, generating $363,876 from 30 locations and averaging
a robust $12,129 per theater. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in
the drama, which has chalked up $1.4 million so far.

Buena Vista's "Flightplan" landed in the fourth spot with
$6.5 million, advancing the total for the Jodie Foster starrer
to a hardy $70.8 million.

Fox's "In Her Shoes" brought in $6.1 million to place fifth
on its second weekend in theaters, raising the 10-day total to
$20.1 million.

While PG-13-rated "The Fog" took first place this past
weekend, the Rupert Wainwright-helmed film will be hard-pressed
to hold on to an audience in the weeks ahead. The horror film
was graded positively by 58 percent of those polled, according
to CinemaScore. Males made up 57 percent of the audience for
the Tom Welling, Maggie Grace and Selma Blair starrer.

"Elizabethtown" has a better shot at holding up than "Fog,"
but with a favorable grade of 82 percent it's far from a
slam-dunk. Females accounted for 70 percent of the film's
audience. Patrons skewed slightly older, with 55 percent in the
25-and-up category for the PG-13-rated film.

The R-rated "Domino" most likely will not be in theaters
very long; the picture generated a weak 73 percent favorable
grade, according to CinemaScore. The action-thriller drew 61
percent males, and leaned slightly older, with 54 percent in
the 25-and-up demographic.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter