“Sith” Happens at 2005 Box Office
Hollywood suffered an off year at the box office. George Lucas did not.
Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith, charting the death of Anakin Skywalker and the birth of Darth Vader, was 2005’s top-grossing movie, tapping loyalists for $380.3 million, according to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.
The film was the only $300 million-plus grosser in a year in which, Exhibitor Relations said, overall movie attendance fell about 7 percent, and ticket sales dipped about 5 percent.
Sith, ostensibly the final chapter in the Skywalker saga, seemed unaffected by the bad box-office vibes. It now stands seventh among the all-time box-office champs, per the stats at BoxOfficeMojo.com.
With Sith leading the way, Hollywood made a lot of money ($8.9 billion) and sold a lot of tickets (1.4 billion) in 2005, per Exhibitor Relations. It just didn’t make as much money ($9.4 billion) or sell as many tickets (1.5 billion) as it did in 2004.
Exacerbating the angina among the executive suite set are stats like these: lowest yearly gross since 2001; lowest attendance since 1997; worst ever opening for a Jim Carrey comedy since Ace Ventura: Pet Detective made him a star.
Here are some other factoids from the box office year that was, according to stats from Exhibitor Relations and BoxOfficeMojo.com:
– The $100 million Fun with Dick and Jane, the offending Carrey comedy, made $64.6 million through New Year’s Day weekend, and couldn’t crack the top 30.
– The $200 million King Kong made $175.6 million through New Year’s day weekend, and couldn’t crack the top 10. It finished 11th, even as two other holiday releases, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($277.1 million) and The Chronicles of Narnia ($225.7 million), quickly settled into second and fourth place, respectively.
– The penguin-populated Madagascar (eighth place, $193.1 million) was the top-grossing animated film; the penguin-populated March of the Penguins (24th place, $77.4 million) was the top-grossing documentary.
– In retrospect, perhaps Martin Short’s Jiminy Glick in Lalawood ($36,039) could have used from some penguins.
– The $130 million-ish Kingdom of Heaven ($47.4 million) and the $120 million-ish The Island ($35.8 million) didn’t have penguins, but they did have overseas audiences ($163.6 million and $124.5 million, respectively).
– Neither penguins, nor international markets, could save the $130 million disaster Stealth ($31.7 million).
– The $5.5 million Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($50.6 million) made just about every studio production look bad.
– Chicken Little (14th place, $132.3 million), the top-grossing G-rated film, made about $1.6 million for every bad review counted by RottenTomatoes.com.
– Narnia was the top-grossing PG-rated film; Sith, the top-grossing PG-13 film; and Wedding Crashers (fifth place, $209.2 million), the top-grossing R-rated film.
– Among the few, the proud and the barely released NC-17 movies, Inside Deep Throat, a documentary about the porn classic Deep Throat, led the way with some $650,000–about one-tenth of 1 percent of what its source material allegedly generated during its own box-office run.
– House of Wax ($32.1 million) was the top-grossing Paris Hilton film; Kids in America ($492,078) was the top-grossing Nicole Richie film.
– The Dukes of Hazzard (23rd place, $80.3 million) was the top-grossing Jessica Simpson film; Undiscovered ($1.1 million) was the top-grossing Ashlee Simpson film.
– In a hotly contested battle, Herbie: Fully Loaded ($66 million) was the top-grossing Lindsay Lohan film; Cheaper by the Dozen 2 ($55.1 million) was the top-grossing Hilary Duff film.
– Vexing or no to Empire magazine readers, who voted Tom Cruise 2005’s most irritating star, the couch-jumper’s War of the Worlds (third place, $234.3 million) was the biggest box-office success of his 25-year career.
– The comedy Sex Sells: The Making of Touche ($2,386) was Adrian Zmed’s biggest box-office success since a 1999 movie you’ve also never heard of.
– One Ice Cube movie (Are We There Yet?, $82.3 million–22nd place overall) was worth more than two Charlize Theron movies combined (Aeon Flux, $24.6 million; North Country, $18.2 million).
– One Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie movie (Mrs. and Mrs. Smith, $186.3 million–ninth place overall) was worth more than two Jennifer Aniston movies, combined (Derailed, $35.7 million; Rumor Has It…, $26.9 million).
– Saw II (20th place, $86.8 million) was a hit sequel; Son of the Mask ($17 million) wasn’t.
– Rent ($28.9 million) was the top-grossing musical, which was not a compliment.
Here’s a complete look at 2005’s top 10 moneymakers, according to figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith, $380.3 million
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, $277.1 million
3. War of the Worlds, $234.3 million
4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, $225.7 million
5. Wedding Crashers, $209.2 million
6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, $206.5 million
7. Batman Begins, $205.3 million
8. Madagascar, $193.1 million
9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith, $186.3 million
10. Hitch, $177.6 million
“Sith” Happens at 2005 Box Office