|2||Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay||$14,570,000||$5,804||$14,570,000|
|3||The Forbidden Kingdom||$11,230,000 (-47.5%)||$3,563||$38,255,000|
|4||Forgetting Sarah Marshall||$11,014,000 (-37.9%)||$3,934||$35,077,000|
|5||Nim’s Island||$4,525,000 (-20.4%)||$1,519||$38,954,000|
|6||Prom Night||$4,400,000 (-49.3%)||$1,559||$38,115,000|
|8||88 Minutes||$3,600,000 (-48.3%)||$1,660||$12,632,000|
|9||Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!||$2,410,000 (-31.4%)||$1,116||$147,883,000|
This just in: Film negatives. More on that as it develops.
Baby Mama was relatively inexpensive and was given a no-faith release, so the near-$20 Million it got to shows that 30 Rock fans are legion and they forgave – what amounts to – tepid word of mouth and lousy reviews. Depending on the drawing power of Patrick “Loverboy” Dempsey, the film may hang out for a while and get close to $50 or so. But if Harold and Kumar had a production budget of $12 Million, it’s the real winner here. It should get over $30, which will make it profitable before it hits DVD, where it should also clean up. New Line might be a stripped-down husk of what it once was, but it doesn’t take a genius to suspect this will likely become a trilogy. Expect the greenlight this week. Both films played stronger than expectations, which is good. People are ready for the summer movies.
What didn’t do anything was Deception, which looks like a DTV effort with name stars. If you have ever wanted to know what a film sacrificed to the movie gods looks like, it’s this. And it ain’t pretty. Then again, this was an act of fealty by Fox, and once the contract was honored, the end results were negligible. Hugh Jackman wanted to make a movie, he got it made. After that, who care?
Though Forgetting Sarah Marshall held better, The Forbidden Kingdom still outpaced it, and both are on track for near-$50 finishes. For Forbidden Kingdom, that should likely be good enough, considering the real windfall will come internationally. Sarah Marshall, on the other hand, will have no such benefits, but if it did cost $30, it’s already over that, so it’ll be considered a modest success, and not in the Walk Hard category of failure. Apatow may not have the sheen he had post-Superbad, but he’s still one of the most successful working producers/talents going today. If The Pineapple Express doesn’t get too swamped by comedies this summer, it should restore the record.
The rest of the list is a piffle. Horton should be able to cross the $150 marker, 21 will get to $80 Million. When you talk about the strange world of box office, 21 is one of those films where had it had a different release date, or had there been a slight tweak, it would never make that much money. But right place right time, Seth Rogen gets Katherine Heigl pregnant. Nim’s has a chance to get to $50, but a slim one.
That vacuum sound you hear is the box office getting ready for summer. Which starts next week with a man wearing an iron outfit. Should be fun.