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Looking Back: Movies in Theaters when "Arrested Development" Debuted

On the occasion of the Bluth family's impending return with the Netflix season of "Arrested Development," we're taking a look at the cinematic landscape back when George Sr. was first put in the slammer.

The TV Show: Arrested Development

Premiere Date: November 2, 2003

I'm not sure if the world knew what it was getting when an odd little Ron Howard-narrated sitcom called Arrested Development debuted on Fox in the fall of 2003. Nearly 10 years ago, it was a world without references to stair-cars, Motherboy, or "Les Cousines Dangerouses." The cinematic world was also a different place. The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series were ongoing. The Marvel universe had yet to kick off. It was also, speaking of this particular weekend in time, a rather lean period at the box-office. Only one film in that weekend's Top 10 would go on to top $100 million and there were quite a few high-profile flops. But any weekend that boasts some Quentin Tarantino, some Sofia Coppola, and some Coens is certainly worth a second look.

The #1 Movie in America: In its second week of release, Scary Movie 3 held on to the top slot, narrowly edging out the wide-release debut of Disney's Brother Bear. This third installment of the Scary Movie series ended up being the second highest-grossing, and was a huge improvement from the disappointing second installment. This would be the last year for quite a while where the Halloween weekend Top 10 did not feature a Saw movie.

Getting in the Holiday Spirit: Other scary movies trying to capitalize on Halloween audiences this weekend? The surprisingly good remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was performing quite well in its third week of release. Not performing quite as well was the theatrical release of the Director's Cut of Ridley Scott's legendary creature-flick Alien, which finished outside the Top 15. Feel free to judge anybody who opted for anything other than Alien that weekend.

Early Oscar Indicators: Two future Best Picture nominees were hanging out in theaters that weekend, with Clint Eastwood's Mystic River lingering in the Top 10 and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation playing in select theaters. Both films would end up leveraging their eventual awards success into extended theatrical runs, playing well into 2004.

Auteur Nation: This was an especially good weekend to go to the movies if you were a fan of big-name auteur directors. Besides Eastwood and Coppola, you had Quentin Tarantino with the blood-soaked Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Joel and Ethan Coen with the farcical Intolerable Cruelty, Jane Campion with the infamous In the Cut, and Richard Linklater with the hugely crowd-pleasing School of Rock. School of Rock would end up being the biggest hit of all of these -- and indeed Campion and the Coens would have their films called flops by critics -- but any way you slice it, that's a lot of talent on display.

First-Billed Stars of the Box-Office Top 10 in for AD's TV Premiere in 2003: Anna Faris, Jessica Biel, Cuba Gooding Jr. (Radio), John Cusack (Runaway Jury), Sean Penn, Uma Thurman, Jack Black, George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

First-Billed Stars of the Box-Office Top 10 for AD's Netflix Premiere in 2013: Chris Pine, Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Chadwick Bozeman, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Craig Robinson, Robert DeNiro.


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