Disney Lives High Off The Hog
Disney's Wild Hogs brought home the bacon at the box office over the weekend as the film defied negative critical reviews and analysts' predictions to earn an estimated $38 million. It was the most ever earned by a Disney film in March and the third-highest March opening in history. The film, which stars John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen and William H. Macy, had been expected to take in about $23-28 million. Particularly impressive was the fact that the biker movie attracted more women than men (The audience was split 54 percent female; 46 percent male, according to Nielsen EDI.) It "demonstrated Travolta's steadfast appeal to female audiences," USA Today commented. Paramount's Zodiac, which generally received solid reviews, opened in second place with $13.1 million -- at the low end of expectations. But Paramount distribution chief Jim Tharp told USA Today: "We think the strong reviews and word of mouth will give us a pretty good run." The only other new film to open this weekend, Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L. Jackson, placed eighth with $4.0 million. Sony's Ghost Rider, which had held on to first place over the previous two weekends, slipped to third with $11.5 million, putting it within striking distance of the $100-million mark. The film, which also opened to poor reviews, has taken in an additional $60.7 million overseas.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media by Numbers:
1. Wild Hogs, $38 million; 2. Zodiac, $13.1 million; 3. Ghost Rider, $11.5 million; 4. Bridge to Terabithia, $8.6 million; 5. The Number 23, $7.1 million; 6. Norbit, $6.4 million; 7. Music & Lyrics, $4.9 million; 8. Black Snake Moan, $4 million; 9. Reno 911!: Miami $3.8 million; 10. Breach, $3.5 million.