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Smart Money was on the Spy Spoof

June 23rd, 2008

It was another strong weekend at the box office, at least compared to last year, and almost every film matched expectations nearly perfectly. (Get used to reading that phrase.) Overall the box office earned $143 million during the past three days, which is 20% lower than last weekend. On the other hand, it was nearly 9% higher than the same weekend last year and that was just enough to push 2008 into the lead over 2007 at $4.27 billion to $4.26 billion. Ticket sales are still down nearly 3%, but that too could change.

Get Smart lived up to expectations nearly perfectly debuting in first place with $38.68 million, which is the best opening for a live action movie starring Steve Carell ever. Granted, the second best opening for a live action movie starring Steve Carell was last year's disappointing Evan Almighty. However, with better reviews, a better internal multiplier, and weaker direct competition, this movie should have little problem reaching $100 million by the end of its international run. Not only would that be the sixth such film for Steve Carell in just the past 5 years, but with a much more reasonable production budget, it is on pace to earn a profit by the film's initial push into the home market. I don't know if this is enough for the movie to earn a sequel, but it could be.

Next up is The Incredible Hulk, which finished on the low end of expectations with $22.14 million over the weekend. However, this gives the movie $97.06 million after 10 days, which is comparable to the original's total at this point in its run. Also, at this pace, The Incredible Hulk will overtake its predecessor by this time next week, while ending its run with just over $140 million, which is perfectly in line with original expectations.

Continuing the trend of nearly perfect predictions was Kung Fu Panda, which made $21.93 million over the weekend for a total of $155.83 million. And like the previous film, this one is also on pace to match original expectations nearly perfectly.

The same can't be said of The Love Guru, the first disappointment of the month. The film only managed fourth place with just $13.91 million, which was the worst opening for a Mike Myers vehicle since 54, which opened nearly 10 years ago. Reviews have been awful, and there's little hope of long legs at this point. I think it is safe to call the movie Mike Myers's Semi-Pro and he's going to have to rethink his career to avoid destroying it. On the other hand, at least he has the Shrek movies to fall back on.

The Happening avoided the worst case scenario in our predictions. However, its $10.48 million over the weekend was still down close to 66% from its opening. That said, with $50.75 million after 10 days, it is about a week away from matching its production budget and will end up as a midlevel hit and could come close enough to original expectations to be considered a victory.

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Filed under: Kung Fu Panda, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, The Happening, The Love Guru