Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: Will Ferrell Goes for the Gold

by | March 29, 2007 | Comments

Two promising new comedies target different age groups and look to close off a red hot March box office with strong opening weekend sales.

Paramount offers the Will Ferrell pic "Blades of Glory" while Disney goes after the kids with the animated flick "Meet the Robinsons." Together, the pictures should help the marketplace surge and allow the top ten to cross the $100M mark for the fifth consecutive frame. The box office has not seen this kind of streak since last summer. Smaller films entering the multiplexes include the action pic "The Lookout" from Miramax and Universal’s uplifting drama "Peaceful Warrior."

Comedy king Will Ferrell skates into theaters everywhere looking for another gold medal with his newest laugher "Blades of Glory." The PG-13 film finds the funnyman and Jon Heder playing rival figure skaters who must team up as a pair in order to compete again. Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer, and Craig T. Nelson co-star. "Blades" boasts the two main ingredients to a successful comedy hit – a bankable star and a unique concept. Add in the very funny commercials and trailers and Paramount is well-positioned to score its second number one hit of the year joining fellow star-driven comedy "Norbit." Both pics were produced by DreamWorks.

Ferrell left the competition in the dust last summer with "Talladega Nights" which bowed to a robust $47M on its way to a $148M final. "Blades" doesn’t have as big of a marketing push or the prime summer play period so its opening will not soar as high. But the former "Saturday Night Live" star will again prove that he is a reliable draw. The industry had some doubts in 2005 when both "Bewitched" and "Kicking and Screaming" failed to reach $65M. Ferrell’s 2004 hit "Anchorman" debuted to $28.4M and "Blades" should play out like that one, only bigger. Teens and young adults will be the driving force plus there is plenty of cross-gender appeal. Though the marketplace is crowded with many options, there aren’t too many direct threats. "Wild Hogs," the only major comedy, is getting old as is "300" which most high school and college students have already seen. Spinning into over 3,000 theaters, "Blades of Glory" should finish in first place and win about $37M over the weekend.


Ferrell and Heder in "Blades of Glory."

Disney uses its patented moves to go after the family audience with its latest animated offering "Meet the Robinsons." With most digital toons these days being of the PG variety, "Robinsons" carries a G rating which it hopes will help convince parents to buy tickets for even the youngest of their children. The story follows an orphan boy who befriends a kind family and features the voices of Angela Bassett, Tom Selleck, and Adam West. In the cartoon world, films sell best when they are comedies and feature popular comedians in central roles. "Robinsons" at least has the first factor working for it.

The marketing has been strong and trailers have been funny. But unlike the studio’s last film for kids, "Bridge to Terabithia," this time competition will be a force. "TMNT" and "The Last Mimzy" will only be in their second weekends and are set to steal away about $20M worth of business from the same target audience. Luckily, the weekend’s two other new films will attract different segments of the moviegoing crowd. "Meet the Robinsons" does not have the firepower to reach the heights of Pixar pics. Rather, it may bring out the same size audience as last fall’s "Open Season" which bowed to $23.2M from an ultrawide 3,833 locations. "Meet the Robinsons" bows in roughly 3,200 sites but could exploit its studio’s brand name to deliver a similar gross of about $23M.


Let’s "Meet the Robinsons."

Years after leaving the sitcom world of NBC’s "3rd Rock From the Sun," Joseph Gordon-Levitt anchors the heist thriller "The Lookout." The R-rated Miramax release comes from writer-turned-rookie-director Scott Frank and co-stars Jeff Daniels. Starpower is seriously lacking here and that will hurt its box office prospects. Reviews have been good, but the target audience of young adults have "Blades of Glory," "300," and "Shooter" to choose from and all of them offer more for the money. With only so much marketing and distribution strength behind it, the film will have a tough time just getting an invite to the top ten. "The Lookout" debuts in about 1,000 theaters on Friday and could collect about $4M over three days.


Jeff Daniels and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "The Lookout."

In an unorthodox approach, Universal will be releasing the inspirational drama "Peaceful Warrior" in 615 theaters this weekend but most moviegoers will actually be getting free tickets through a promotion with Best Buy. The PG-13 film starring Nick Nolte was given a limited release last summer and grossed more than $1M from just over 40 theaters. Universal will report box office grosses that include regular paid sales plus full ticket prices for each free admission. With $15M worth of free tickets allocated for opening weekend, it will be unlikely that the paid portion will make up a sizable amount. Film fans who visit the promotional web site can get up to ten complimentary tickets each. However, the studio should get some extra buzz that it could benefit from when the DVD is released a few months down the road.


Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz in "Peaceful Warrior."

The Ninja Turtles ruled the box office last weekend in "TMNT," but will face a formidable foe in Disney’s "Meet the Robinsons" which will play to the same audience. A 40% drop would give the animated actioner $14M for the frame and $43M after ten days. Warner Bros has also been raking in the dough with its stylish war epic 300 which has been holding up surprisingly well. Another 40% fall will put the R-rated battle pic at $12M boosting the cume to $180M after 24 days. Mark Wahlberg‘s "Shooter" could decline by 45% to $8M giving Paramount a ten-day total of $27M.

LAST YEAR: Smashing the March opening weekend record set four years earlier by its predecessor, "Ice Age: The Meltdown" shot straight to number one with a colossal $68M debut. The Fox juggernaut went on to gross $195.3M domestically and a towering $657M worldwide giving the "Ice Age" duo over $1 billion in global grosses. Dropping to second was "Inside Man" with $15.4M. Warner Bros. launched its urban drama "ATL" in third with $11.6M on its way to $21.2M. Rounding out the top five were "Failure to Launch" with $6.5M and "V for Vendetta" with $6.3M. The horror flick "Slither" creeped into eighth place with a $3.9M opening leading to a $7.8M final. Sony claimed the year’s most notorious flop with "Basic Instinct 2" which bowed to $3.2M on its way to a pathetic $5.9M before sweeping the Razzie Awards.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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