Showing that industry tracking is not always meant to be trusted, “Funny People” opened Friday to $8.6 million and is on track for anywhere between $22-25 million for the weekend. The film’s studio, Universal Pictures, was conservatively pushing this low estimate beforehand even when rival studios were guessing a much higher opening. The combination of Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen seemed like a sure-thing at the box office, but hints at the film’s more serious tone may have turned off Sandler’s traditional fan base enough to diminish the opening. The studio will have to hope for positive word of mouth for the film to reach Sandler’s longstanding $100 million gross mark.
Falling to second, but clearly still hitting a nerve with the kiddies was Disney’s “G-Force.” According to Box Office Mojo, the Bruckheimer talking animals picture grossed $5.7 million on Friday for a new cume of $55 million and $100 million plus seems like a sure bet in the long run.
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” came in closely at third with $5.4 million possibly boosted by the addition of IMAX screens across the country. The current “Potter” installment has grossed $243 million so far and should land somewhere around $280 million when all is said an done.
Coming off a strong opening weekend, the “Ugly Truth” has a bigger fall than expected to arrive in fourth place with $4.4 million. The Katherine Heigl/Gerard Butler romantic comedy has grossed $45 million so far and is looking at around $14 million for the weekend.
Besides “Funny People” this weekend’s other wide opening was the under-the-radar “Aliens in the Attic.” With only $2.8 million on Friday, the flick wasn’t able to convince kids to avoid the more appealing “G-Force” and “Harry Potter.” A Saturday matinee bump it could hit $10 million for the weekend, but is another under-performer for Fox this summer whose biggest hit has been “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.