These are the dog days of summer for movies - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

These are the dog days of summer for movies

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Posted: Sunday, August 22, 2004 8:48 am | Updated: 5:56 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

August 22, 2004

You know the summer movie season is winding down when studios stop screening their wide releases for critics. Last week, Fox sent out ‘‘Alien vs. Predator’’ without the benefit of first-day reviews.

This week, Warner Bros. is doing the same with ‘‘Exorcist: The Beginning.’’

But if the summer is going out with a whimper instead of a bang, it made plenty of noise. Box-office receipts are up nearly 5 percent over last year, and the season’s overall haul may top $4 billion.

However, no more tickets have been sold this summer than in the previous one. Higher ticket prices accounted for the increase in receipts.

But there were several mega-hits. The season’s champion is ‘‘Shrek 2,’’ which has grossed about $436 million, enough to slip past ‘‘E.T.’’ for third place on the all-time boxoffice list behind ‘‘Titanic’’ and ‘‘Star Wars.’’

With more than $361 million in ticket sales, ‘‘Spider-Man 2’’ has moved past ‘‘Jurassic Park’’ for the No. 9 spot and — barring an act of God — will soon pass ‘‘The Passion of the Christ’’ for eighth.

The third ‘‘Harry Potter’’ movie grossed about $20 million less than the second, which grossed $55 million less than the original. But its total of $260 million still made it No. 3 for the season and keeps the film version of the series alive.

Six other movies made it over the $100 million mark: ‘‘The Day After Tomorrow,’’ $185.7 million; ‘‘The Bourne Supremacy,’’ $139.7 million; ‘‘I, Robot,’’ $134 million; ‘‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’’ $115.5 million; ‘‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,’’ $112.5 million; and ‘‘The Village,’’ just above $100 million.

Though it figures to end up in ninth place for the summer, ‘‘The Village’’ has to be counted among the summer’s high-profile, big-ticket disappointments. That dubious list also includes such might-have-beens as ‘‘Catwoman’’ ($38 million), ‘‘Around the World in 80 Days’’ ($23.5 million), ‘‘King Arthur’’ ($50.6 million) and ‘‘Thunderbirds’’ ($6.6 million).

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