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Semi-Pro Throws Up an Air Ball

March 4th, 2008

Good news, 2008 is still ahead of 2007's pace by a substantial margin. Bad news, the lead is shrinking. Over the past three days, overall box office earnings were $97 million, which was 12% lower than last weekend. More importantly it was 22% lower than the same weekend last year. 2008 still has an 8% lead over last year, $1.54 billion to $1.43 billion, but at this pace, that lead won't last until the end of the month.

Semi-Pro wasn't the slam-dunk many thought it would be. In fact, it was slammed by critics and completely ignored by moviegoers, pulling in just $15.08 million over the weekend. This is the weakest opening for a Will Ferrell comedy, since Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The odds are that it didn't cost too much to make, and it should earn a small profit at some point during its home market run. However, Will Ferrell better re-think his comedic routine before he does serious damage to his career.

Vantage Point held on well this weekend to add $12.82 million over the past three days for a total of $40.82 million after ten. This was within a rounding error of Thursday's prediction, while it has already earned more than original expectations.

The Spiderwick Chronicles matched expectations perfectly with $8.70 million over the weekend. The film is now tracking for $75 million in total, more or less, which should be enough to help it earn a profit, but probably not enough to entice the studio into turning it into a franchise.

The Other Boleyn Girl was the only really positive surprise this weekend as it opened with $8.20 million in just 1,166 theaters. Its per theater average of just over $7,000 should be enough to encourage a few more theater owners to add the film, but its reviews won't help its word of mouth.

Jumper also performed better than expect, albeit by a smaller margin with $7.57 million. The film now has $66.79 million in total and is the third biggest hit to open this year, just above Hannah Montana.

While Penelope earned the best reviews of the three wide releases this week, it had the weakest opening, placing 9th with $3.80 million. Even if it holds on strong next weekend, I can't imagine many theater owners will keep it booked the weekend after that.

Moving onto the sophomore class, there were three such films that missed the top five with Be Kind Rewind performing the best at $2.09 million over the weekend and $7.12 million after two. Witless Protection didn't completely collapse, but it did fall to under $1 million by earning $978,000 over the weekend. Charlie Bartlett, which earned more positive reviews than negative ones, actually performed worse than Witless Protection, which is still waiting for its first positive review. That film fell to just $836,000 over the weekend for a 10-day total of $3.25 million. There is no justice sometimes.


Filed under: Jumper, Vantage Point, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Semi-Pro, The Other Boleyn Girl, Be Kind Rewind, Penelope, Witless Protection, Charlie Bartlett