No need to hide in a deserted phone book, Mr. Carell–your movie did just fine.
On Friday I predicted that Get Smart would win the duel of new comedies, with the Carell led TV remake winning the weekend box office. I gave week 2 of The Incredible Hulk second place, and Mike Myers’ The Love Guru the bronze medal.
Well, as it turns out, I gave Myers’ film way too much credit. Not because I thought it looked good–let’s be honest, one commercial can tell you this is one of the worst movies of the year, with decade honors a distinct possibility–but because I thought audiences might be in the mood for any comedy after a few weeks of action-adventure and willing to take anything. Apparently not.
According to Variety, Get Smart did take first place with a respectable $39.1 million take. Hulk earned an estimated $21.5 million and Kung Fu Panda, in its third week, made about $21.7 million for a second place dead heat. Panda’s showing some nice staying power, undoubtedly as one of those, “it’s for kids but it has movie star voices so adults will like it too” movies. Hulk dropped 61% in its second week, but with a $96.5 million total so far, no one probably is that upset.
That leaves us with The Love Guru in fourth place, with only $14 million from 3,012 locations. In other words, pretty much all ticket sales were of the, “Dang, everything else is sold out and we drove all the way out here. Better than nothing, I suppose.”
(Oh, how wrong you were my friend…nothing probably would have been better.)
The fact that the movie did badly should have surprised no one; it may be just how bad that snuck up on many–including me–I didn’t give audiences enough credit. Apologies. The reviews were awful, but it’s been noted time and again that many movie goers, particularly younger audiences don’t pay attention to reviews. In this case, I just think that the commercials and trailer were so bad looking that it would have done better with no more advertising than a few posters and the occasional Mike Myers TV talk show appearance. Many people have seen a movie trailer that looked great, gone to the movie, and then discovered that the trailer was great because it contained the only good parts of hte movie. With this one, though, no one could say, “Wow, I think this has potential.” Except, I guess, for hard core Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake fans.
I know, it seems like I’m just piling on a movie that’s already been flogged publicly in so many ways. I think part of my irritation comes from the fact that I think Mike Myers can do better and it almost shocks me that not only did he misfire so badly with this, but that he’d been working on the character and idea for years and never realized how far off the mark he was. And apparently no one around him was either bright enough or bold enough to tell him the truth.
Okay, enough of that. By the way, The Happening was in fifth place with about $10 million and should consider itself lucky it pulled in that much.
On the smaller side, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, opened in only five theaters, all in cities with American Girl doll stores. The targeted opening produced enormous rewards, with the film averaging $44,539 per showing for a total of $222,697. This is a film that would seem to have such a built in audience that it could have opened wide and done reasonably well, but I think it wasn’t a bad decision, considering the maelstrom of big budgeted summer films, to build up demand for a little while before going nationwide. That will happen on July 11th.
Let’s see how things go next week, when such clunkers as Guru and The Happening will undoubtedly be gone from the top five list.