Box Office Guru Preview: Semi-Pro Set To Slam Dunk The Competition

The Other Boleyn Girl, Penelope also opening.

by | February 28, 2008 | Comments

A triumvirate of films opens this weekend, but all will bow to the power of the mighty Will Ferrell and his latest outrageous comedy, Semi-Pro.

Will Ferrell storms the box office this weekend with his latest sports comedy, Semi-Pro. This time the funnyman takes on the world of professional basketball, following in the footsteps of 2007’s figure skating pic Blades of Glory and 2006’s racing flick Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. There is no question this kind of film is directly in Ferrell’s wheelhouse so he should slam another one out of the park – sorry, let me try that again… so this weekend should be a slam dunk for him.

Almost exactly a year ago, Blades of Glory opened with $33M on its way to a $118.5M final gross. In August of 2006, Talladega Nights opened with $47M on its way to $148M. The major differences between those two films and Semi-Pro is that the previous two were rated PG-13 while Semi-Pro has landed an R rating, and that people may be tiring of seeing Ferrell doing the same shtick over and over again. The rating will keep some of the young folks who dig Ferrell’s irreverent comedy, away from theaters. The shtick may keep some viewers away, but the fans will come out in droves and it shouldn’t hurt the overall grosses too much, as the film is the only major player in town. Opening on over 3,000 screens, Semi-Pro could gross $35M this weekend.

Will Ferrell as Jackie Moon in Semi-Pro.

Two other smaller films, both headlined by women, also open this weekend. First is The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. The film finds the two playing sisters, both trying to win the heart of the King of England. While both are critical darlings (and have a countless number of male fans), neither one is considered a big box office draw. Johansson’s biggest opening weekend (for a live action film) was 1998’s The Horse Whisperer, which opened to $13.6M. Portman of course starred in three episodes of the Star Wars saga, but if you exclude those films, her highest opening weekend was $25.6M for V for Vendetta back in March of 2006. That sounds reasonably impressive until you realize her next highest opening weekend for a film in which she had a leading role was last winter with Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium which opened with $9.6M.

The Other Boleyn Girl will likely cater to an audience of older women, although the joint star power of Johansson and Portman could bring in a somewhat younger crowd, as will Eric Bana who plays the aforementioned King. However the film opens on only about 1,000 screens and will likely get lost in the shuffle. While the film isn’t a romantic comedy and in fact has a twisted and scandalous storyline, there are no less than three romantic comedies still in the marketplace all of which cater to the same demographic. Look for The Other Boleyn Girl to open with around $5M.

The Boleyn girl and the other Boleyn girl.

The final new release this weekend is the long awaited Penelope starring Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy. The movie tells the tale of a woman who is forced to hide a family curse which will only be lifted if she can find true love. The film has aspects of science-fiction and fantasy which makes it a little different than the other romantic comedies out right now, but even with Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon’s name attached, the film will most likely get buried. Opening on around 1,200 screens, look for Penelope to gross around $4M this weekend.

Christina Ricci as Penelope.

Last weekend’s champ Vantage Point will likely lose business to the Ferrell juggernaut, but should still have a reasonable hold this weekend. Look for the ensemble political thriller to fall around 40% to around $14M.

LAST YEAR: Disney jumped all over the box office with the smash Wild Hogs, which grossed $39.7M making it the largest opening in March history for a live-action film (until the following weekend when 300 shattered the mark). The critically acclaimed Zodiac debuted in second place with $13.4M. Two-time champ Ghost Rider grossed $11.6M, while a second Disney film, Bridge to Terabithia made $8.9M. Jim Carrey‘s crossover into horror, The Number 23, crashed 56% and collected $6.5M in its second weekend.

Tag Cloud

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