Smart Comedy Wins the Weekend!


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures based on actual box office.

There’s been a lot of interest and attention paid to this weekend since it was looking very much like a Battle of the Comedy Stars with high-profile comic actors Steve Carell and Mike Myers trying to get moviegoers into theaters for their latest. When it came down to it, Warner Bros.’ remake of the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry television show Get Smart starring Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson kicked the living crap out of Mike Myers’ latest creation The Love Guru (Paramount) and there really wasn’t much of a contest.

Get Smart won the weekend with an estimated $39.2 million in 3,911 theaters, an impressive average of over $10k per site, and a significantly better showing than Carell’s 2007 summer offering Evan Almighty which topped the charts in the same weekend last year with $31 million. To say that the estimated $14 million made by The Love Guru was embarrassing would be an understatement based on the fact that Mike Myers hadn’t done a live action comedy since Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat in 2003, which opened with over two and a half times that amount. Apparently, fans of his comedy from the “Austin Powers” and “Shrek” movies weren’t prepared to embrace his wacky new character and the mostly scathing reviews of the movie probably didn’t help either, convincing Myers’ millions of fans to wait until DVD for his latest.

DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda, featuring the voice of Jack Black, continues to do well, remaining in second place for the second weekend in a row with $21.7 million, a minor drop of 35% from last weekend. It has grossed $155 million so far and will have its toughest challenge next weekend when it faces Pixar Animation’s latest animated family film WALL•E.

Last week’s top movie, Marvel Studios’ The Incredible Hulk (Universal) starring Edward Norton took a 61% plunge this weekend, dropping to third place with $21.6 million just behind Kung Fu Panda with a total of $96.5 million, about $4 million behind the previous Hulk movie five years ago.

Likewise, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening (20th Century Fox) took a heavy hit, dropping 67% from its strong opening weekend, to bring in $10 million for fifth place with a ten-day total of $50.3 million.

After five weeks, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount) still hasn’t grossed $300 million but it’s getting closer with another $8.4 million over the weekend which brings its domestic box office total to $291 million.

The introduction of two new comedies didn’t help Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (Sony) which took another hit in its third weekend, dropping to #7 with $7.2 million and a total gross of $84 million. In eighth place, Sex and the City (New Line) continued its strong run with another $6.5 million and a gross of $132 million in four weeks.

Having earned a badge of honor from becoming the first movie of the year to cross the $300 million mark, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man (Paramount) added another $4 million to its take, once again having the smallest drop-off from last weekend in the Top 10.

Opening in an exclusive release in five select cities, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Picturehouse), based on the popular girls’ books and dolls, took in $223 thousand, averaging $44.6 thousand per site, which is okay but doesn’t look strong enough to sustain the family movie’s planned wide release on July 2.

The Top 10 grossed $134 million, down from last weekend but up 10% from the same weekend last year.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.