20th Century Fox really wanted to make sure “Date Night” lead the weekend over the incumbent champ “Clash of the Titans.” The studio initially estimated the Tina Fey and Steve Carell comedy would have a much stronger Sunday gross than usual for such flicks and end up with a three-day take of $27.1 million. Instead when Monday morning actuals came in, the result was $25.2 million. Ouch. Therefore, the Sam Worthington adventure stays atop the box office standings with $26.6 million, down slightly from the $26.8 estimate.
These discrepancies rarely occur in the Internet age, but when they do its usually the fibbing studio banking on the public relations advantage of being No. 1 first over any industry embarrassment later. Plus, in this instance, “Date Night” is still clearly a hit, even if the distribution execs at Warner Bros. are no doubt annoyed with Fox’s Sunday number game.
As for the rest of the top five, the weekend estimates stayed pretty true to form with “How To Train Your Dragon” down only 14% (versus the reported 12%) with another $24.8 million in the third spot, “Why Did I Get Married Too?” on track with $11 million for fourth and the Miley Cyrus romance “The Last Song” a tad under the original $10 million projection with $9.8 million instead.
Controversy over the 3-D conversion aside, it’s worth noting that “Clash” has generated $228 million worldwide in only 10 days.
This weekends new releases include “Kick-Ass,” “The Back-Up Plan” and “Death at a Funeral.”