Disappointing is the best way to describe this weekend. The two major new openings failed to meet their expectations and the box office is decidely down compared to previous weeks and last year.
Even if Kingdom of Heaven took the honors this weekend, it did so with less than $20M, which is not good at all. With a production budget of over $100M, and much expections due to maverick director Ridley Scott, the movie is already being considered a bomb. However, if the movie follows in the footsteps of last year's Troy (2004), it will be a success internatinally and may yet show a profit. In the US though, reviews are mediocre at best and people seem to agree that except for the great visuals and the impressive battle sequences, the movie doesn't have much meat to it at all. This ain't another Gladiator (2000).
House of Wax, in second position with under $12M, also disappoints greatly, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in third position with under $10M, showed a marked drop from last weekend when it opened. Finally, Crash also opened with low numbers at $9M. However, the expectations were much lower. Hailed as an Oscar contender, reminiscent of Traffic (2000), with great reviews, it may benefit from good word-of-mouth and make a solid $30M.