When all was said and done, summer 2003 climbed to a record high of $3.27B, 2% higher than last year, thanks mainly to higher ticket prices. Nonetheless, the number of tickets sold was 542.3M, fourth highest in movie history, though down 2% from summer 2002. Disney/Pixar's FINDING NEMO led the record-breaking animation charge with $332.7M, followed by Warner Bros.' THE MATRIX RELOADED ($279.7), Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL ($275M), Universal's BRUCE ALMIGHTY ($240.9 M) and Fox's X2: X-MEN UNITED ($214.9M). Overall, 15 films broke $100M.
As for the Labor Day weekend, UA's JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 (with vfx by The Orphanage and Makeup and Monsters) debuted at $18,365,222, the best ever for the four-day holiday period. Disney's FREAKY FRIDAY (with Jacqueline Allard serving as digital compositor) came in second while continuing its hold on the family audience, taking in another $12.6M for a cume of $90.8M. PIRATES grabbed third place with $10.8M, while Sony's S.W.A.T. (with vfx by Pixel Magic) slid to fourth with $10.78M for a total of $102.7M.Disney's OPEN RANGE (packed with vfx by Centropolis Effects LLC, Cinesite of Hollywood, Northern Effects and U & Co.) settled into the fifth spot with $10.74M, which is good for $43.4M so far.
Universal's SEABISCUIT (bolstered by vfx from Pixel Playground Inc., Sony Pictures Imageworks and The Orphanage), rallied for $9M and sixth place, which raised its total to $104.6M. New Line's FREDDY VS. JASON (with vfx principally by Cinesite of Hollywood, Pixel Magic and Asylum) slid from first to seventh, scaring up $8.6M for a cume of $73.9M. Screen Gems' THE MEDALION (with Paddy Eason as vfx supervisor) secured the eighth spot with $6.2M and total of $16.8M. MGM's UPTOWN GIRLS held the ninth spot with $5.6M and a tally of $30.4M, and Universal's AMERICAN WEDDING came in 10th with $4.7M and a total of $97.6M. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.