Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: Can Chuck and Larry Beat Up Harry?

by | July 19, 2007 | Comments

Two new star-driven Hollywood comedies face off at the box office this weekend in an attempt to unseat Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix from the top spot. Adam Sandler headlines the gay marriage pic I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry while John Travolta goes one step further starring as a heavy-set mom in the musical Hairspray. For the first time in nearly a month, no new release gets an early midweek headstart.

Adam Sandler is back for his annual trip to blockbusterland in Chuck and Larry starring with Kevin James and Jessica Biel. The PG-13 film reunites Sandler with director Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore)
and tells the story of two heterosexual firefighters who pretend to be married to each other to take advantage of the financial benefits. The former Saturday Night Live star only does one film per year and each comedy has a specific well-defined plot. That has led to a string of hits at the box office as fans so far have not had too much of him. Earlier this year, Eddie Murphy reached $34.2M with Norbit‘s opening while Will Ferrell bowed to $33M with Blades of Glory. Chuck should go a little higher.

The former wedding singer has scored $100M blockbusters in each of the last five years and aims to extend the streak to six with his latest summer offering. Last June, his comedy Click bowed to $40M on its way to $137.3M while 2005’s The Longest Yard debuted to $47.6M over three days before heading to a $158.1M final. Sandler is one of the most reliable box office draws in the business and his usual fan following, skewing a bit more male, should be back again this time. Reviews have been bad as usual but should not factor in much. Potter and Transformers will still provide some competition for young males and females may be swayed more to Hairspray. Universal’s marketing push has been on par with past films from the actor and Sandler has been hitting up all the standard talk shows for his yearly sales pitches. Tying the knot in 3,492 theaters, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry could open to about $37M.

The happy couple

John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken,
Amanda Bynes, and newcomer Nicole Blonsky join forces for the lavish musical Hairspray, the 2007 movie version of the popular Broadway version of the 1988 cult film from John Waters. The new PG-rated pic has earned glowing praise from critics which will certainly help its cause in a summer full of action hits aimed at young males. Hairspray will skew more female and could appeal to multiple generations given the broad range of stars from teen queens to middle-aged sex symbols.

New Line does not have an easy sell here. However the studio was wise to program the release into the second half of summer knowing that audiences may be all actioned out by now and looking for something different. Musicals rarely hit the big screen during the summer although in 2001 Moulin Rouge opened wide to $13.7M and a $6,019 average leading to a respectable $57.4M gross. Hairspray hopes to become a hit like Chicago and Dreamgirls, rather than a dud like Rent or The Producers. Broadway musicals don’t always translate well onto the big screen but starpower often helps to make them click with moviegoers. Hairspray boasts a solid line-up of Hollywood stars and with strong reviews should
attract a good following at the box office. Dancing into more than 3,000 theaters, the Adam Shankman-directed film could collect about $19M this weekend.

Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray

A space team is sent on a mission to repair the dying sun in Fox Searchlight’s futuristic thriller Sunshine which launches in limited release in ten theaters on Friday. Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans, and Cillian Murphy star in this latest film from director Danny Boyle which expands to more cities in the weeks ahead.

Something resembling sunshine in Sunshine

Warner Bros. will take on the two new comedies and try for a second weekend on top with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Had the film opened on a Friday and concentrated its whole audience into three days, the dropoff would easily have been more than 60%. However, the Wednesday launch last week softened the Friday-to-Sunday tally so a smaller decline should result. The biggest foe will actually be Potter himself as the seventh and final book in the wildly popular series will go on sale early Saturday prompting millions of fans to invest their time into reading rather than munching on popcorn in front of a big screen. A 55% drop would give Phoenix around $35M for the frame and a mammoth 12-day cume of $210M.

Transformers should also have a decent hold since no new action entries are hitting the multiplexes. The Paramount/DreamWorks release might fall by 45% to roughly $20M boosting the total to a towering $262M. Disney and Pixar also look to see a good hold for Ratatouille. The animated rodent comedy may slide by 35% to $12M for a sum of $165M to date.

LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, Johnny Depp‘s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest led the field and grossed $35.2M boosting the 17-day total to a staggering $321.9M. Sony’s animated film Monster House debuted in second place with $22.2M and was followed by fellow freshman Lady in the Water from Warner Bros. which disappointed with a $18M launch. Final domestic tallies reached $73.5M and $42.3M, respectively. Rounding out the top five were the comedies You, Me and Dupree with $12.8M and Little Man with $11M. Another pair of comedies debuted outside the top five. MGM’s Clerks II bowed to $10.1M on its way to $24.1M, while Fox’s My Super Ex-Girlfriend opened to only $8.6M leading to a $22.5M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

laika festival Mary Tyler Moore San Diego Comic-Con spanish NBC President movies finale Thanksgiving The Purge supernatural 93rd Oscars Apple TV+ Superheroe Tomatazos comics Classic Film Schedule directors olympics Marathons game show true crime based on movie pirates of the caribbean 4/20 feel good archives Premiere Dates dexter Amazon Prime Funimation serial killer marvel cinematic universe TNT Image Comics sopranos DC Comics PlayStation halloween tv YouTube Premium venice GLAAD Mudbound Film Festival binge nbcuniversal Nickelodeon Spring TV docuseries video on demand die hard AMC Plus 2017 superhero animated Sundance 007 rt labs travel nature Winter TV joker Rom-Com tv talk CMT blockbuster Television Academy New York Comic Con Syfy blockbusters unscripted TruTV foreign documentary revenge Tubi Country worst movies scorecard Lifetime dc SundanceTV Legendary cinemax toronto First Look GIFs rotten movies we love TV renewals Ghostbusters golden globes concert The Academy BAFTA Turner Classic Movies king kong know your critic slasher twilight movie lord of the rings television crime thriller Sneak Peek police drama Broadway ABC Family Valentine's Day Ovation El Rey APB Photos biography south america Sundance Now CW Seed spain Reality Competition Film Kids & Family Pirates LGBT Nat Geo Freeform Lionsgate Marvel hist book adaptation See It Skip It criterion Academy Awards worst Disney+ Disney Plus First Reviews Christmas HBO Go Disney spy thriller Captain marvel Star Trek Action Apple TV Plus mob Starz discovery Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt free movies batman Toys Certified Fresh ESPN godzilla Masterpiece cars FX on Hulu Holiday kaiju Television Critics Association Mystery MSNBC Vudu aapi zero dark thirty Lucasfilm Brie Larson Crackle romance legend aliens parents book video festivals anthology Creative Arts Emmys Netflix live action Instagram Live TV mockumentary Holidays basketball spinoff Wes Anderson facebook debate Podcast TBS Fox News RT History transformers marvel comics blaxploitation technology MCU Character Guide National Geographic art house politics dogs Music Pet Sematary Alien NYCC YouTube Extras streaming ViacomCBS Sci-Fi Musicals Amazon Studios TV One Columbia Pictures historical drama wonder woman BBC One kids Oscars 2021 Super Bowl Disney Channel green book Grammys japan award winner spanish language AMC fast and furious Comic Book period drama game of thrones talk show werewolf strong female leads romantic comedy nfl Women's History Month hollywood Epix cancelled best dragons new york SXSW reboot BET MTV Drama psycho 24 frames indie 2020 Pacific Islander jamie lee curtis Chilling Adventures of Sabrina what to watch Stephen King independent Fox Searchlight screen actors guild Peacock canceled Animation Sundance TV cooking IFC Films telelvision dreamworks hispanic heritage month Amazon Food Network screenings comic books sag awards satire breaking bad 20th Century Fox HBO Max Countdown comiccon comic book movie Superheroes Mary Poppins Returns TLC composers Pop USA USA Network Interview spider-man name the review boxoffice genre prank toy story Awards Tour Hear Us Out Paramount Plus Esquire TIFF scary movies Quiz Opinion vampires FX sequels OWN zombie WarnerMedia sports remakes Pixar space a nightmare on elm street Martial Arts rt labs critics edition 2016 critic resources Trivia SDCC suspense Rock 45 new zealand miniseries Box Office 21st Century Fox Tokyo Olympics Crunchyroll 72 Emmy Awards Paramount The Arrangement streaming movies political drama TV movies Exclusive Video jurassic park Spectrum Originals Warner Bros. Bravo Polls and Games mcc Britbox Black History Month ID child's play Trailer slashers doctor who halloween Horror Paramount Network Comics on TV diversity The CW adenture Acorn TV BBC America films boxing Trophy Talk Amazon Prime Video docudrama saw comedies stop motion Reality Cartoon Network Tumblr E3 young adult Avengers french indiana jones critics GoT classics adaptation cancelled TV shows war 99% IMDb TV emmy awards IFC anime Election VOD stoner Infographic Spike Logo DC streaming service Marvel Television Neflix The Witch Baby Yoda cancelled television mission: impossible black comedy PaleyFest DGA Cannes Best and Worst dark American Society of Cinematographers Hallmark Christmas movies mutant posters hispanic Nominations FOX children's TV The Walking Dead teaser elevated horror Song of Ice and Fire RT21 Rocky Cosplay japanese TCA Winter 2020 natural history WGN Watching Series X-Men rotten Shondaland king arthur crime drama latino dramedy Marvel Studios DC Universe OneApp hidden camera E! Musical 1990s Fall TV richard e. Grant Summer quibi rt archives popular BET Awards harry potter History sequel james bond YouTube Red Comedy italian action-comedy robots Discovery Channel news TCM cults crime Awards Writers Guild of America reviews theme song cops Hulu Emmy Nominations Comedy Central Hallmark documentaries Apple Showtime Elton John ratings Pop TV new star wars movies Mary poppins ABC Signature black crossover Binge Guide football 71st Emmy Awards Pride Month 2018 chucky TCA 2017 ghosts Lifetime Christmas movies Ellie Kemper 90s Red Carpet ABC Universal disaster Sony Pictures scene in color NBA psychological thriller A24 DirecTV YA Chernobyl Adult Swim VICE dceu BBC Family spider-verse Western Winners australia kong live event PBS Mindy Kaling CBS women Travel Channel Netflix Christmas movies heist movie gangster obituary The Walt Disney Company Turner 73rd Emmy Awards cats Endgame golden globe awards social media CNN zombies justice league Universal Pictures 2019 razzies Shudder trailers adventure Walt Disney Pictures TV Land Disney streaming service Black Mirror series TCA Awards christmas movies comic cartoon fresh LGBTQ Anna Paquin 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards medical drama FXX Year in Review Fantasy HBO sitcom Biopics versus all-time deadpool Tarantino A&E Calendar Video Games asian-american 2015 thriller biopic stand-up comedy Set visit singing competition Disney Plus VH1 Teen Rocketman royal family high school monster movies superman Comic-Con@Home 2021 CBS All Access universal monsters TCA Star Wars canceled TV shows scary Arrowverse cancelled TV series rom-coms Dark Horse Comics target casting international vs. science fiction comic book movies ITV witnail franchise renewed TV shows Heroines Emmys