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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

North American box office: ‘Funny People’ not laughing so much

It wasn’t a terribly happy opening for the Apatow/Sandler flick:

1. Funny People: $22.7 million (NEW)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $17.9 million (3rd week; drops 39%)
3. G-Force: $17.5 million (2nd week; drops 45%)
4. The Ugly Truth: $13.2 million (2nd week; drops 52%)
5. Aliens in the Attic: $8 million (NEW)

actual numbers, not estimates
If you consider that Funny People is actually a drama, and not a comedy, it opened pretty well compared to other Adam Sandler dramasReign Over Me opened to only about $7 million in 2007, and Punch-Drunk Love to only $367,203 in 2002 (though that was on only 5 screens, for a whopping per-screen average of $73,440; Reign’s was $4,464, and Funny People’s is $7,535). If you consider that Judd Apatow made his name with mainstream audiences with raunchy comedies, and that this film was marketed as a comedy, it’s a pretty poor opening. When you consider that likely most of the audience who turned up for the film thought they were getting another Apatow comedy, we’re probably gonna see this take a huge drop next weekend. Can I predict? I’m gonna say 70 percent.

Half-Blood Prince hung on fairly well this weekend thanks in large part to its arrive on IMAX screens. According to Box Office Mojo, “IMAX accounted for $3.1 million or 18 percent of the weekend gross.”

Harry Potter passed $250 million in North America this weekend… but it cost $250 million to produce. And it still hasn’t quite caught up (though it will, of course) to The Hangover, which also passed the $250-million mark this weekend — and it cost only $35 million to produce. You can get there are studios fast-tracking similar films at this very moment, and not one of them will do any significant percentage of Hangover’s business. But they’ll try…

None of the top 10 films by per-screen average were wide releases: 500 Days of Summer is closest, on 266 screens, but that down at No. 6 on the list. The summer box office is definitely cooling off…

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]



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