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COMEDIES RULE BECAUSE OF BAD NEWS: Tina Fey’s ‘Baby Mama’ Berths No. 1; ‘Harold & Kumar’ #2, ‘Sarah Marshall’ #3

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SUNDAY AM: Good news going into the summer movie season –weekend box office was up finally, +15% compared to last year. Funny films swept the Top 3 as the obvious antidote to rising food bills, astronomical gas prices and the constant tide of bad news these days. Universal’s female buddy comedy Baby Mama pairing 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey and SNL‘s Amy Poehler won Friday with an opening of $6.4 million Friday and $7 million Saturday from 2,543 theaters for what was a better-than-expected $18.2 million FSS. “There was nice movement towards the end of this week. Whatever they did with their TV spots worked for female audiences,” a rival marketing marven told me. The PG-13 pic tracked well with women of all ages. “Unaided awareness, definite interest, and choice with women young and old is fantastic,” a Uni source told me. “The hard part is tracking it against comparable movies. It’s near impossible to think of a female-driven buddy comedy of the last few years.” I can think of three — The Sweetest Thing, and even Connie and Carla and High Heels and Low Lifes, all of which tanked. But those movies didn’t have hot Tina Fey.

New Line’s stoner guy pic Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay debuted to $5.9 million Friday and $5.1 million Saturday from 2,510 venues. It ended the weekend with $14.3 million. A sequel to a pic that didn’t do even $19M in theaters during its entire release, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle didn’t merit a follow-up until it … Read More »

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Wkd Prediction: ‘Baby Mama’ To Berth #1

10:45 PM: COMEDIES RULE BECAUSE OF BAD NEWS: Tina Fey’s ‘Baby Mama’ No. 1 Fri, ‘Harold & Kumar’ #2, ‘Sarah Marshall’ #3

1 PM: Here are the very early Friday total numbers which my box office gurus are projecting for the major movies opening this weekend. Universal’s Baby Mama starring hot, hot, hot movie and TV comedienne Tina Fey and SNL‘s popular Amy Poehler should win with box office domestic gross around $14M-$15M and maybe as high as $17M from 2,543 theaters. “It should finish in the mid to high teens. There was nice movement towards the end of this week. Whatever they did with their TV spots worked for female audiences,” a rival marketing marven tells me. Universal is “very optimistic” what with the PG-13 pic’s tracking ”really great” with women of all ages. “Unaided awareness, definite interest, and choice with women young and old is fantastic,” a studio source tells me. “The hard part is tracking it against comparable movies. It’s near impossible to think of a female-driven buddy comedy of the last few years.” I can think of three — The Sweetest Thing, and even Connie and Carla and High Heels and Low Lifes, all of which tanked. But those movies didn’t have Tina Fey.

R-rated Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay from … Read More »

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