Saturday, July 11, 2009

Universal's box office numbers: Bruno has $14.2 million opening Friday...

Straight from the source, Bruno opened yesterday to a whopping $14.2 million on 2700 screens. The studio is (smartly) expecting some serious front loading, claiming that hope for a $35 million three-day total. I was concerned that this might be a Blair Witch 2 situation, where a flash in the pan phenomenon is wrongly expected to happen twice, hence my approval at their lowball $20 million weekend prediction. While I can't imagine this having the long term staying power of Borat, a $35 million+ weekend will likely lead to a just over/under $100 million domestic finish. Ironically, the main threat to the Sash Baron Cohen fauxumentary is Judd Apatow's R-rated Adam Sandler vehicle: Funny People. Ironic because both films are from Universal (the latter opens just three weekends from now). What is it with first Sony (opening The Taking of Pelham 123 just a couple weeks after Angels & Demons) and now Universal basically cannibalizing themselves in regards to their specific demo-targeting movies?

Also from Universal, Public Enemies grossed $4.3 million on its second Friday . That's a drop of 58%, further troubling as Friday was not this film's opening day, so there was no front loading or midnight sneaks to consider (studio's hopeful weekend gross: $14.7 million, a drop of 42%). If there is any other real news when the general numbers are released (ie - if I Love You Beth Cooper actually opens or if The Hangover gets murdered due to the first shot of direct competition), I'll note it accordingly.

Scott Mendelson

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