- Sex and the City box office: Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, New Line Cinema’s big-screen transfer of the hit HBO series has turned out to be a major commercial hit – notable as one of the rare female-centered movies to reach the top of the domestic chart and to become a worldwide success.
Sex and the City box office: Rare woman-focused no. 1 hit
May 30–June 1 weekend box office: Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy Sex and the City topped the U.S. and Canada box office chart, grossing a more-than-expected $57 million according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
This big-screen adaptation of/sequel to the hit HBO series (1998–2004) has thus achieved a relatively rare feat, as no. 1 live-action movies centered on women and their issues have been few and far between in the past four decades. This year, for instance, the only other female-focused releases to top the domestic box office chart have been Baby Mama (one weak weekend), starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and, if one stretches things out a bit, Prom Night (another weak weekend), featuring Brittany Snow.
Directed by Michael Patrick King, Sex and the City also features Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, 2006), Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Mario Cantone, Lynn Cohen, Willie Garson, Joanna Gleason, and Murphy Brown star/veteran Oscar nominee Candice Bergen (Starting Over, 1979). Budget: $65 million.
Profitable global blockbuster
Update: New Line Cinema’s Sex and the City ultimately collected $152.6 million domestically and $266.1 million internationally. Worldwide total: $418.7 million – surely making it a profitable blockbuster.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($52.3 million), Germany ($27.1 million), Australia ($25.8 million), France ($18.8 million), and Japan ($16.7 million).
Low-budget horror thriller The Strangers has acceptable debut
This past weekend’s other new wide release, Rogue Pictures’ psychological horror thriller The Strangers debuted at no. 3 with $21 million from 2,466 venues. Depending on how much was spent on marketing, that’s not bad at all for a $9 million production (shot in South Carolina in fall 2006).
Liv Tyler (to be seen in the upcoming The Incredible Hulk) and Scott Speedman star as a couple whose vacation home is invaded by three masked strangers. Bryan Bertino directed. Also in the cast: Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis, and Glenn Howerton.
For the record, the no. 2 movie on the domestic box office chart was the previous weekend’s champ, Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with $44.8 million (down 55 percent). In the cast: Oscar nominee Harrison Ford (Witness, 1985), winner Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, 2004), Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf, and Raiders of the Lost Ark actress Karen Allen.
Profitable low-budget release
Update: Rogue Pictures’ The Strangers ultimately collected $52.6 million domestically and $29.8 million internationally. Worldwide total: $82.4 million – a remarkable figure for a $9 million production.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($7.8 million), Spain ($3.3 million), Mexico ($2.9 million), and Italy ($2.7 million).
“Sex and the City Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Sex and the City Box Office: Rare Woman-Centered Hit” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Sex and the City, The Strangers, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall Sex and the City movie image: New Line Cinema | HBO Films.
“Sex and the City Box Office: Rare Woman-Centered Hit” last updated in October 2022.