Head scratcher of a weekend at the box office. Industry tracking showed that the CG animated “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” would win the 3-day frame, but no one expected the Megan Fox horror comedy “Jennifer’s Body” or the Jennifer Aniston rom com “Love Happens” to both bomb so badly.
According to Box Office Mojo, “Cloudy” made $8.1 million on Friday and should finish the weekend with $26-28 million depending on Saturday’s jump. That’s not spectacular, but Sony Pictures will take it and hope good word of mouth fuels the returns over the next few weeks.
“Love Happens” only found $3 million for what could be a $9-10 million weekend. That’s a huge disappointment for the tabloid favorite who is coming off the wide release hits “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Marley and Me.” In fact, the last time an Aniston movie opened so poorly was 2001’s “Rockstar.” Even the Weinstein B-movie thriller “Derailed” found $12 million in 2005. Ms. Aniston will not be happy, but “Dark Knight” aside she should have realized that Aaron Eckhart is pretty much box office poison as his resume is littered with films that should have done more business than they actually did (check out his track record here).
More of a shocker though, was the Fox’s “Body” coming in with only $2.8 million on Friday for what should be a $6-7 million weekend. Considering how popular Ms. Fox was perceived to be and the talent associated with the film including screenwriter Diablo Cody and producer Jason Reitman, this has to be devastating for 20th Century Fox. It didn’t help, however, that their marketing campaign wasn’t as hip as the movie itself and seemed rushed and over-thought. You have to wonder if sister division Fox Searchlight or Lionsgate would have handled this release better. We’ll never know if Ms. Fox’s blunt comments and bitchy attitude in the media [see embedded interview to your left for an example] have turned off her fanbase. The results,however, are a big warning to Warner Bros. that Fox may or may not help their Western adventure “Jonah Hex” next summer as much they expected her too. Yes, one little opening can have repercussions all across Hollywood.
Beating both Fox and Aniston’s flicks and coming in second place was the Matt Damon/Steven Soderbergh comedy “The Informant.” Driven off mostly positive reviews, the comedy found $3.6 million on Friday for what should be a $9-10 million opening frame and in line with studio expectations. Warner Bros. is no doubt hoping good word of mouth will allow the film to play over the next month or so.
Still going strong in No. 3 however was Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” with $3.1 for Friday and an estimated $10 million for the weekend. That should give the Perry flick close to $38 million since opening and it should end up with somewhere in the mid 50s when all is said in done. Not too shabby for a Madea movie without Madea in the title.
Look for final box office estimates Sunday on HitFix.