Sunday, August 21, 2005

Carell Comedy #1 in Virgin Weekend


In a busy August weekend with four new releases, Steve Carell's raunchy R-rated sex comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin came out on top, earning roughly $20.5 million in 2,845 theatres, an average of $7,224. It's a good start for Carell's first feature as a leading man, and it should make back its $26 million production budget in just a few short days.

Made for the same amount of money, Wes Craven's high flying thriller Red Eye, starring Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams, also did decent business, grossing an estimated $16.5 million in its first weekend in 200 more theatres than Virgin.

Dropping down to third place, John Singleton's revenge thriller Four Brothers brought in another estimated $13 million, taking its box office total to $43.6 million. Only a few million away from making back its production budget, the breakout hit should prove to be another profitable summer film for Paramount Pictures.

New Line's Wedding Crashers continues to bring in business, remaining in fourth place with another $8.3 million. Having grossed almost $178 million, it's very close to passing Will Smith's Hitch to become the year's top non-action comedy.

With Red Eye entering the market, Universal's thriller The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson, fell 54% from its opening weekend, grossing $7.4 million for a total of $30.1 million.

Disney's computer animated family comedy Valiant , a collaboration with the British Vanguard Studios, didn't fare as well in its opening weekend as the other new movies. Featuring voices by Ewan McGregor and John Cleese, the animated film made only $6.1 million in its first weekend, a weak average of only $3,000 per theatre for seventh place. It earned less than Warner Independent Pictures' own G-rated offering, the documentary March of the Penguins, which added another $6.7 million, slightly less than it earned last weekend, to bring its total to $48.6 million in nine weeks.

In 8th and 9th place, Warner Bros. former chart toppers, The Dukes of Hazzard and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, brought in $5.7 and $4.5 million to bring their totals up to $69 million and $192.7 million, respectively. The latter is close to becoming Warner's second $200 million of the summer, a feat that has only been achieved once before by any studio.

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, the sequel to Rob Schneider's biggest hit, took a 63% tumble, dropping out of the Top 10 with a second weekend gross of $3.6 million, bringing its total to $17.2 million. It still has a slim shot at earning back its $22 million production budget in its U.S. theatrical run, but it's very slim.

The weekend's only other new movie, 20th Century Fox's motorcycle drama Supercross: The Movie is officially the biggest bomb of the year, having only grossed $2 million in its first five days in over 1,600 theatres. It only averaged about $817 per theatre over the three-day weekend.