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Olympics Slow Attendance, But Horror Draws a Crowd.
By Steve Biodrowski
September 25, 2000
It was a slow weekend at the box office, with fewer ticket buyers turning turnstiles as many potential viewers stayed home to watch the Olympics. Perhaps realizing this, the major studios held off on major new releases, and the two top spots went to a modestly-budgeted slasher flick from Columbia Pictures and to a twenty-eight-year old re-release from Warner Bros. Urban Legends: Final Cut
made its debut with $8.8-million. With over 2,500 engagements, that worked out to less than $3,500 per screen. Meanwhile, the revised version of The Exorcist
took in $8.5-million on just over 650 screens, for an impressive average of just over $12,800 per venue. With the latter film schedule to expand to over 1000 screens next weekend, its long term prospects seem far rosier than those of Urban Legends 2
A Fandom poll conducted on Friday asked browsers which of the two horror films they would rather see. A 56% majority selected The Exorcist
as their choice, while only 11% chose Urban 2
; another 8% wanted to see both film, with the remainder not interested in either one. Considering this overwhelming favoritism, one can only explain Urban
's #1 ranking as the result of its wider release.
A follow-up poll on Saturday and Sunday asked viewers to grade Urban 2
, and the results indicated the word-of-mouth will not bode well for the sophomore weekend. Only 60 browsers responded; of those 50% graded the film with an F. 18% gave it an A; 8%, a B; and the remainder gave it a C or D. Using a numerical basis (A=4, B=3, etc), that would give the film a total score of 81 and an average score of 1.35 (just shy of a D+ grade).
A poll running today regarding The Exorcist
shows a far more favorable response, with 39% ranking the new version as a substantial improvement; 30%, as a minor improvement; and 26% ranking the new version as interesting but not substantially improved. Only 4% expressed a preference for the old version of the film.
As for the rest of the Top Ten, Universal's The Watch
dropped from 1st to 5th place, with $3.6-million, a 38% decline in revenue. Tying for 8th place were DreamWorks' What Lies Beneath
fell from 5th place, , and Warners' Space Cowboys
which dropped form 6th place; both films earned $2.2-million, according to studio estimates.
Below is a list of the studio estimates for the weekend's Top Ten films. Final figures will be posted tomorrow.
|U.S. Box Office Top Ten 9/22 to 9/24/2000|
|1.||Urban Legends: Final Cut|| $8.8-million|
|3.||Almost Famous|| $7-million|
|4.||Bring It On||$4.2-million|
|8.||What Lies Beneath||$2.2-million|
|10.||Woman on Top||$1.9-million|