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

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