'Sky Captain' leads receipts in weak weekend

Monday, September 20, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- The debut flight of "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" landed the No. 1 weekend box office spot with an estimated $16.2 million amid an overall lackluster turnout at theaters.

The $70 million, film-noir-styled fantasy starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie cast its live actors against digitally animated giant robots on a backdrop of 1930s New York.

The film was originally slated to debut during the summer blockbuster season, but distributor Paramount pushed back the opening amid post-production delays.

"You gotta figure, with a project like this, you don't know what the response is going to be from the audience," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations Co. "I think they maximized the potential of the movie by taking it out of the summer and putting it here because it was the only way it was going to be No. 1."

The film drew a largely older audience, according to studio tracking, which estimated 70 percent of viewers were over 25.

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