EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has made a deal with Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Judd Apatow to write an untitled feature comedy vehicle for the two stars of the Comedy Central show Key & Peele. Apatow will …
Friday Box Office: Tom Cruise’s ‘Jack Reacher’ #2, Judd Apatow’s ‘This Is 40′ #3, Behind Peter Jackson’s #1 ‘The Hobbit’
FRIDAY 11:30 PM UPDATE: Remember that all these pre-Christmas movie openings will be helped tremendously by the holiday multiple gift from Santa. Some of the newcomers opened on Wednesday, with others Friday. Domestic box office looks like this tonight which definitely isn’t a full reflection of what will be pre-Christmas weekend moviegoing. So this not-great-start is looking like only $100M total moviegoing, which is -19% from last year. See this as a quick glimpse until my refined numbers and full analysis Saturday and Sunday:
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (MGM/WB) Week 2 [Runs 4,100] PG13
Friday $10.5M (-73%), Weekend $31.5M, Cume $145.2M
The problem with blockbusters is they have giant openings and then giant falls. But even with a -73% drop from a week ago, Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth epic is still the big #1 domestic and international. Going into the weekend, its huge domestic haul was already $113.1M and its international take was just shy of $189M. That makes for a worldwide cume of about $303M. Yikes! The pic now opens in Russia and the Ukraine as it continues to blanket the globe with new and old JR Tolkien faithful.
2. Jack Reacher (Skydance/Paramount) NEW [Runs 3,352] PG13
Friday $5.7M, Weekend $17.5M
Tom Cruise is currently not sitting quite as pretty as he was midday based on matinee trends. Yes, he’s still #2 today and should stay there all weekend now that audiences bestowed an ‘A-’ CinemaScore. That should help word of mouth, along with the expected holiday multiple. Still pic will debut less than the $20M which major stars like Cruise should gross to open movies. Frankly, Hollywood didn’t think this ammo actioner would make even this kind of money after tracking trouble. (There’s been snark from the film project’s get-go that Tom Thumb was miscast as Reacher, who’s a physically big guy in the novel.) But it only cost $60M, or so co-financiers Skydance and Paramount keep claiming. Remains to be seen if it’ll struggle to get to $100M total box office. If so then Oracle scion David Ellison may have to rethink steering movies towards Cruise even after Mission: Impossible 4 paid off.
3. This Is 40 (Universal) NEW [Runs 2,912] R
Friday $4.0M, Weekend $12.0M
Adult pictures don’t open big this time of year but then they go on to enjoy huge multiples. The studio wasn’t expecting the so-so reviews fgr This Is 40 but is expecting Judd Apatow fans to turn out over the weekend. Remains to be seen if tonight’s ‘B-’ CinemaScore from audiences hurts word of mouth. Universal knew tonight could swing anywhere between $3M to $4.5M depending on how the R-rated dramedy fared on Friday Date Night. I don’t agree with rival studios calling this openign “soft” just because This Is 40 had identical tracking to Jack Reacher. (“I’m surprised it’s so far behind. And for a movie that Universal sent out Academy screeners in November, it garnered only 49% positive reviews,” one rival studio exec snarked to me tonight.) It’s a way different genre though equally cheap. But let’s see if it has a better holiday multiple.
4. Rise Of The Guardians (DW Animation/Par) Week 5 [Runs 3,031] PG
Friday $1.5M, Weekend $7.2M, Cume $79.8M
This movie keeps taking advantage of Hollywood shortsightedness in not skedding more December family pictures this season. Still, compared to other tentpole toons, this is still a disappointment.
5. Monsters Inc 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 1 [Runs 2,618] G
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $5.0M, Cume $6.5M
Opened Wednesday and Disney now pumping up the publicity volume in preparation for the Christmas wannasee. Re-teched 2001 toon whose lifetime domestic gross was $257M should make a fat multiple while it also drums up interest for 2013′s prequel.
6. The Guilt Trip (Skydance/Paramount) Week 1 [Runs 2,431] PG13
Friday $1.4M, Weekend $4.7M, Cume $6.7M
Also opened Wednesday and Hollywood did a double-take tonight. ”It fell off the map,” one rival studio exec exclaimed to me. Co-financier David Ellison helped foot the minor $40M bill to pair up Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in a double-lame genre of road trip and mother movie. Stop, before you crap out another.
Paul Brownfield is an AwardsLine contributor.
The first scene in Judd Apatow’s dramatic comedy about marriage, This Is 40, is the only love scene. Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are having birthday sex in the shower, but what Debbie doesn’t know is that Pete has popped a Viagra. Thrusting is soon followed by tumult.
First seen in Knocked Up, Pete and Debbie functioned in that film as “the ghosts of Christmas future” for the two main characters, played by Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. But This Is 40 doesn’t pick up where Knocked Up left off, it starts afresh.
Let us assume the Viagra shower episode hasn’t happened in the real-life marriage of Apatow and Mann. But both the writer/director, edging into more mature terrain, and his actress wife, truly starring in a major Hollywood film for the first time, are aware that they’ve made something that feels, anyway, like an autobiographical film. In the time before making This Is 40, Apatow went back and watched, among others, Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From A Marriage, “which had more humor in it than one would expect,” he says.
Related: OSCARS: The Directors
Despite competition from big baseball and football games and the final Presidential debate, the 16th annual Hollywood Film Awards gala last night featured a nice starry turnout — especially considering all those stars were able to go onstage and accept an award for themselves. That always helps, doesn’t it?
As the ballroom announcer intoned, this event marks “the beginning of Hollywood’s awards season”. Well, actually it marks the beginning of the awards-season chicken dinner circuit for the Beverly Hilton. But give ‘em an award this early in the game and they will come. It’s a way for awards strategists to get their hoped-for Oscar contenders in the winner’s circle right off the bat. These are negotiated honors, and Hollywood Awards co-founder (with wife Janice Pennington) and executive director Carlos de Abreu is the guy who decides who gets the “gold” (although he has a board that supposedly has input).
De Abreu, not unlike some other awards organizations, insists that in order to receive a Hollywood Film Award, recipients must be there in person to accept. He won’t even allow live satellite acceptances, the thinking being that it would open a can of worms, and strategists would try to find a way to get the award without delivering talent directly to the ceremony. It’s a formula that delivers an impressive turnout and it gets participation due to the early date, with many of the winners hailing from movies that haven’t been released. No one takes it seriously, but it serves its purpose as far as the studios are concerned. As Seth Rogen said in his hilarious intro for Comedy Award winner Judd Apatow: “Perhaps the most annoying thing is none of these movies have come out yet. I haven’t even heard of some of these movies. (Screenwriter winner) Quentin (Tarantino) is still shooting! Who voted for these things?”
Mike Fleming Moderates Universal’s Centennial Panel With Robert De Niro And Judd Apatow At Tribeca Film Festival
Last Thursday, I drove into Lower Manhattan to moderate a panel for the Tribeca Film Festival to mark Universal’s 100th anniversary. I do not love doing these things, but who’s going to turn down the chance to interact with my panelists Robert De Niro and Judd Apatow (Meryl Streep was …
Here is a trailer for HBO’s Girls, the series debut of feature prodigy Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture). Dunham wrote, directed and stars in the comedy series about twentysomething girls in New York that she executive produces with Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. At TCA last month, Dunham said she grew …
Fortissimo Acquires ‘Monsoon Shootout’, Mark Ruffalo & Scarlett Johansson Join ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’: Berlin
Just ahead of next week’s European Film Market in Berlin, Fortissimo Films has come aboard thriller Monsoon Shootout, handling international rights outside India/South Asia, France and Germany. The film, executive …
New York City – Kristen Wiig will present the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence to Judd Apatow at the Writers Guild of America Awards Ceremony in New York City. Daytime television veteran Claire Labine will also be honored when she receives the Ian McLellan Hunter Award at the ceremony, which takes place at B.B. King Blues Club on Sunday, February 19, 2012. Boardwalk Empire creator, executive producer and writer Terence Winter joins writers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini and CBS “Sunday Morning” contributor, writer and co-host Nancy Giles to present at the ceremony.
Universal’s The Five Year Engagement opens April 27, 2012 and stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. It’s helmed by Nicholas Stoller, who directed Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Stoller and Segel co-wrote this one, and Judd Apatow and Rodney Rothman produced.