Executives at Walt Disney Studios and MGM are no doubt scratching their heads after the disappointing openings for “Surrogates” and “Fame” respectively. For weeks, industry tracking showed that the Bruce Willis thriller should open to over $20 million and the teen drama would find it’s mark around $15-18 million. Those are pipe dreams now.
Friday’s box office found last weekend’s champ “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” remaining in the pole position with $5.6 million. The CG animated movie is still playing strongly and should find $20-22 million for the weekend. At this rate, the well-reviewed flick could end up with around $90-100 million when all is said and done. Not too shabby.
Second place should go to “Surrogates” which once again proved how fleeting Bruce Willis’ starpower is these days. He opened “Live Free and Die Hard” to a strong $33 million in 2007, but arguably hasn’t opened a movie on his own since 2000’s “Unbreakable.” His latest release found only $5 million on Friday for what should be a $13-15 million weekend. Disney had a slick, eye-catching outdoor campaign for the film with sexy robotic bodies but they looked nothing like the bland TV spots that were simultaneously running at the same time. Sometimes, even superb marketing can’t fool moviegoers on the quality of a flick.
In third place was MGM’s only release of this year, “Fame.” With only $3.5 million, the drama featuring mostly unknowns (when your only recognizable names are Kelsey Grammer and Megan Mullally you may have a problem) will be lucky to hit $10 million for the three day weekend. This is even more disheartening for the Lion as the company hasn’t been working on much else. MGM’s next release is the Joss Whedon produced “A Cabin in the Woods” which appears to have much better commercial prospects.
Fourth place went to Matt Damon’s “The Informant!” with $2.1 million and what should be a $6-7 million three-day cume. The Steven Soderbergh comedy is looking at topping out a little over $30 million which is significantly more than its $22 million budget.
One studio that is experiencing the best of times and the worst of times is Overture Films. Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” has gotten off to a strong start since launching in four venues on Wednesday. Unfortunately, their horror/Sci-Fi flick “Pandorum” pulled in only $1.6 million on 2,500 screens. That’s only $600 per screen. Ouch.
Look for final box office estimates for the weekend Sunday on HitFix.
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