Shame on the trades and mainstream media for not making the big deal out of this angle of the Sunday box office story I did. (Or, is that the reason? See my previous, Rival Studios Accuse WB Of Inflating #s). It’s now clear that Warner Bros wildly exaggerated its domestic gross claims for its disastrous Speed Racer. The WB-inflated tally of $20.2M put its anime actioner 2nd and Fox’s What Happens In Vegas only 3rd with $20M, when every other studio had the ranking the other way around and Speed Racer‘s tally around $19.7M. Those rival studio execs told me Sunday there was no way WB’s kiddie pic would suddenly have a huge Sunday. And, remember, there’s primo PR value in these Top 10 ranking which get reported in newspapers and on TV and the Internet. But now the official figures have been reported Monday, and everyone can see how fudged WB’s figures really are. Speed Racer made only $18.5M for the weekend, while Fox’s Vegas totalled $20.1M. That’s a difference of more than $1.6M. Jeez. As I noted yesterday, these kind of controversies don’t develop often in Hollywood, but when they do, they can be ugly. That’s because there is a certain code of honor among thieves, if you will — a tacit agreement that every Hollywood studio will try to report weekend box office numbers as accurately as possible. Now it’s shame on WB.

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.