SUNDAY 8 AM, 4TH UPDATE: Jetlagged from traveling but home at last. Let’s start with the domestic bad news because that’s what Hollywood craves. New Line’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (3,160 theaters) is a complete disaster despite no fresh comedy at the multiplex since Identity Thief opened five weeks ago. This is Warner Bros’ 5th straight box office dud, continuing what has been an abysmal beginning of the year. Despite Warner Bros’ Best Picture Oscar win for Ben Affleck’s Argo, the studio’s woes began with Gangster Squad in January and continued with Bullet To The Head and Beautiful Creatures through February, and festered with the $200 million flop Jack The Giant Slayer on March 1st. Now the studio is counting on May to deliver big grosses again with The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and the much anticipated Man Of Steel. Any hope for an upside because of the casting of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey (who’s in the Witness Protection Program in the trailers) is gone even with a modest $32M production budget. Those stars should have delivered at least a $20M if not $30M opening. Instead their pic only maxed $10.3M for its first weekend after grossing only $3.7M Friday and $4.1M Saturday. And, remember, that includes 1,800 Thursday late shows, too. Even worse, pic scored a ‘C+’ CinemaScore which will hurt word of …
#1 ‘Oz’ Holds For $281.8M Worldwide Cume; Halle Berry In #2 ‘The Call’ Beats Carell-Carrey In #3 Bomb ‘Burt Wonderstone’
SXSW isn’t a sales-dominant fest, but two years ago Universal’s Bridesmaids debut here paid off when the Kristen Wiig pic became a $288 million global box office hit. Now studios with spring openers and genre fare are hoping SXSW can be a similar launching pad for strong word of mouth. Here are the mainstream pics hoping to squeeze hot buzz out of SXSW:
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Warner Bros.):
Director: Don Scardino, Story by Chad Kultgen & Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley. Cast: Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi. Warner Bros opens the Steve Carell – Jim Carrey magician comedy nationwide next week but the mixed critical reaction after its SXSW opening night premiere won’t help.
Evil Dead (Screen Gems):
Director/Screenwriter: Fede Alvarez, Screenwriter: Rodo Sayagues. Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore. Producer Sam Raimi’s fingerprints have been all over this quasi-remake, which was the hottest ticket in town on Day One. Raimi didn’t make the trip to Austin to stump for Evil Dead with director Fede Alvarez and fellow producer Bruce Campbell — he was busy opening Disney’s Oz: The Great And Powerful — but the gory R-rated remake made an impression on the late night genre crowd.
Related: Joss Whedon Q&A On Eve Of SXSW
Warner Bros and New Line’s comedy starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey will have its world premiere March 8 at the SXSW Film Conference and Festival, which made the announcement today. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, about a pair of Las Vegas magicians who face off against a new rival, is directed by Don Scardino and opens wide March 15. The Austin-based fest also said it will premiere the reimagined Evil Dead; Joe Swanberg’s comedy Drinking Buddies; the Napster documentary Downloaded from Alex Winter; and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and James Franco. Most of the full lineup will be announced January 31 and the fest runs March 8-16. Here are SXSW’s descriptions of the films and panels set so far:
Warner Bros has shifted the date of its Vera Farmiga horror thriller The Conjuring and added three movies to its 2013 release schedule. The new pics: The Steve Carell-Jim Carrey comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will open March 15, the Jason Sudeikis-Ed Helms-Jennifer Aniston drug-smuggler comedy We’re The Millers opens August 9, and the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal kidnapping thriller Prisoners is due out September 20. Meanwhile, the studio moved Conjuring, a based-on-a-true story about a pair of paranormal investigators directed by Saw‘s James Wan, from January 25 to July 19.