Taking a look at the past weekend's box office numbers, via Box Office Mojo:
For the four day weekend there were three major releases that debuted: two, Constantine and Son of the Mask, are based on comic book properties, while the third, Because of Winn-Dixie, is a kids movie about a girl and her dog.
Over the four days, Constantine was ranked second with $33,624,407; Because of Winn-Dixie was third at $13,218,723; and Son of the Mask was fourth with $9,100,115. (The number one movie was Hitch, in its second weekend of release, with $36,731,246.)
So, it's plainly obvious that of the three movies that debuted, Constantine was the clear winner, right?
But wait, Box Office Mojo also gives us the estimated production costs for these movies: Constantine cost $100 million to make; Because of Winn-Dixie cost just $14 million; and Son of the Mask cost $84 million.
So, while Constantine took in just one third of its production costs in its opening weekend, Because of Winn-Dixie took in nearly its entire production costs.
In all likelihood, Because of Winn-Dixie will soon be in the black and making money for its studio, while Constantine will struggle to make up its production costs in its domestic theatrical release, and will have to rely on foreign receipts and the inevitable DVD sales to make a profit (if any).
(About the only thing we can say with much certainty is that Son of the Mask is a dog!)
Just some things to think about when you're looking at all the analyses on the January 2005 sales figures from Diamond...