Paramounts groundbreaking CGI adventure, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, managed to capture the box office for the weekend ended Sept. 19, 2004, ringing in $15.5M in its debut, but well below expectations. The studio blamed the September timeslot, preferring the original June opening against SPIDER-MAN 2, but reiterated that the vfx intensive movie wasnt ready, with 13 effects houses recruited to help complete nearly half of the 2,000 vfx. The list included: ILM, Luma Pictures, Rising Sun Pictures, Hybride Technologies, Ring of Fire, SW Digital, Pixel Liberation Front, Pacific Title Digital, Café FX, Engine Room, The Orphanage, R!OT and Digital Backlot.
Buena Vistas MR. 3000 bowed in second place with $8.67M. Screen Gems RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALPSE dropped to third in its second week, with an expected 62% decline. With vfx by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, Mr. X Inc., Animated Extras International Ltd., Fantasy II Film Effects and Soho VFX, the horror sequel managed $8.65M for a total of $37M. Universals WIMBLETON debuted in fourth with $7.1M. New Lines CELLULAR thriller finished in fifth with $6.7M and a cume of $19.7M. Paramounts WITHOUT A PADDLE came in sixth with $3.6M and $50.3M. Miramaxs popular Asian import, HERO, settled for seventh with $2.8M and a cume of $46M. Fox Searchlights NAPOLEON DYNAMITE moved up two spaces to number eight with $2.28M and a cume of $33.3M. DreamWorks COLLATERAL grabbed the ninth spot with $2.2M and $95.9M to date. Buena Vistas THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT finished 10th with $1.9M and a cume of $91.8M. Box office information obtained from boxofficemojo.com.
One of the most eventful bows of the week was that of Go Fish's anime sequel, GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE, which reeled in a very impressive $317,722 in only 47 theaters for a per screen average of $6,760.