Box Office Guru Preview: Odd Couples Invade Multiplexes

Tina and Amy take on Harold and Kumar for box office crown.

by | April 24, 2008 | Comments

Two new buddy comedies enter the marketplace during the final weekend of the spring box office hoping to cash in on what business is left in the last week before Iron Man flies into theaters kicking off the summer blockbuster season. Targeting women is Baby Mama starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler while males get John Cho and Kal Penn reuniting in Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. Adding to the mix is the less commercial dramatic thriller Deception boasting a dynamic duo of its own – Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor. The overall box office will easily outperform last year’s comparable frame which was one of the worst in all of 2007.

After finding success as a lead in the sitcom world, Tina Fey heads to the movie biz as the headliner in Baby Mama with frequent collaborator Amy Poehler at her side. The PG-13 film finds a successful and uptight businesswoman hiring a free-spirited underachiever to be the surrogate for her baby. Adult women over 30 will be the main audience here but male appeal is not so lacking though. Fey and Poehler have built up a fan following over the years since their Saturday Night Live days and aim to prove that it’s not just men that come out of that camp to become box office stars.

Competition will be a factor as the second weekend of Universal’s other adult-skewing comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall will tap into much of the same folks. And though it’s a different kind of comedy, Harold & Kumar will have some level of impact too with those looking for a laugh. But reviews for Mama have generally been good plus the clever title and decent starpower will help pull in ticket buyers. Its strategic opening night slot at the Tribeca Film Festival this week also helped to generate lots of extra press. Debuting in 2,542 theaters, Baby Mama could open to roughly $13M this weekend.


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Baby Mama

Four years after the first comic adventure comes Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay which brings together the two lovable stoners for a road trip across the South. The R-rated pic is the sequel to Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle which bowed to only $5.5M in July 2004 on its way to $18.2M. However, more moviegoers found the ground-breaking comedy on DVD growing the fan base enough to make a sequel. White Castle was such a well-liked film that Guantanamo Bay should bring in a much larger turnout upfront. But competition will play a part, as it did with White Castle. Baby Mama and Sarah Marshall are both rival comedy offerings and The Forbidden Kingdom has been popular with young men. Plus moviegoing in general tends to contract in late April so there will be less dollars to go around. Good reviews will help and having a built-in audience always bodes well at the box office. Landing in 2,510 locations, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay could make off with around $11M.


John Cho and Kal Penn Escape From Guantanamo Bay

Wolverine and Obi-Wan Kenobi uncover the mysterious world of underground sex clubs in Fox’s new thriller Deception. The R-rated pic stars Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor plus adds some female starpower from Michelle Williams, Natasha Henstridge, and Maggie Q. Thanks to a generic title and a lack of marketing, Deception is sure to flop this weekend and make a quick trip over to DVD. The leads can sell tickets in other films, but this one packs no punch at all and boasts no commercial hook. The studio will be happy to write this one off and move on to its summer slate of potential hits. After all, that’s what the last weekend of April is all about. Stumbling quietly into 2,001 unfortunate theaters, Deception could fool $4M from the wallets of ticket buyers.


Michelle Williams and Hugh Jackman in Deception

Last weekend, the JackieJet adventure flick The Forbidden Kingdom won a hands down victory over the breakup comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall for the number one spot. While the difference between the two was nearly $4M, the gap will narrow significantly this time. Kingdom drew upon a fan audience on the first weekend so a heavier drop is likely while Sarah‘s more adult crowd didn’t really need to rush out on the first frame to see the pic.

Lionsgate may see sales get sliced in half for the ancient Chinese tale leaving a $11M gross and a ten-day tally of $38M. Universal will not have it totally easy though. Competition from the weekend’s new comedies, especially from studio stablemate Baby Mama, will cut into the numbers. Still, the well-liked Sarah might drop 40% to about $10.5M and push the cume to $35M after ten days.

Prom Night should suffer another sizable drop in its third killing. The Sony thriller looks to fall by 50% to around $4.5M and lift its 17-day sum to $38M.

LAST YEAR: It was the only weekend of 2007 when no film broke the $10M mark as studios refrained from opening any good films for fear of being pulverized a week later by the arrival of Spider-Man 3. By default, Disturbia claimed a third session at number one grossing $9M and dipping just 31% for Paramount. Of the new releases, Buena Vista’s horror pic The Invisible fared best with a mild $7.7M debut in second place. Paramount’s Nicolas Cage actioner Next limped into third with just $7.1M giving the action star one of his worst debuts ever. Final grosses reached $20.6M and $18.2M, respectively. New Line’s crime thriller Fracture followed in fourth with $6.8M while Paramount’s comedy hit Blades of Glory rounded out the top five with $5.2M. Late April spring cleaning also saw the dumpings of The Condemned ($3.8M opening, $7.4M final) and Kickin’ It Old Skool ($2.5M, $4.5M) into the multiplexes.

Author: Gitesh Pandya www.boxofficeguru.com

Tag Cloud

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