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Hero Provides Late Summer Box Office Punch

Miramaxs HERO, the dazzling Jet Li actioner, brought in a record-breaking $18M in its debut for the weekend ended Aug. 29, 2004, beating out BRING IT ON for the best end of August opening ever. And, at 2,031 theaters, it surpassed CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON to become the widest Asian release of all time. VFX was provided by Animal Logic, The Orphanage and Tweak Films.

Meanwhile, the 2004 summer box office saw a decline of around 1.8% from 2003, which was down 2.6% from 2002. However, as ticket sales have dropped, revenue has increased to approximately $3B, or around 3.6% above last year, thanks to higher ticket prices. This year brought in only 11 movies that rose above $100M vs. 17 a year ago.

Debuting in second place was Screen Gems ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID (with vfx by Photon), which took in $12.8M. Paramounts WITHOUT A PADDLE came in third with $8.5M and a two-week total of $27.7M. Buena Vistas THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT slipped to fourth with $8M and a three-week cume of $75M. Warner Bros. EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING (with vfx by Pixel Magic, Proxima, Meteor Studios, Kleiser-Walczak) fell nearly 61% to fifth place with $7M and a two-week cume of $31.1M. DreamWorks COLLATERAL added another $6.4M to its take of $80.1M to hold the sixth spot. Foxs ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (with vfx by The Moving Picture Co., Cinesite (Europe), Double Negative and Framestore CFC) dropped to seventh with $4.9M and $72.1M. Lions Gates OPEN WATER finished eighth with $4.7M and $23.2M to date. Universals THE BOURNE SUPREMACY finished ninth with $4.6M and $157.7M. Paramounts SUSPECT ZERO (with vfx by Spectrum Effects) debuted in 10th place with $3.4M. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.

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Rick DeMott
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