The movie version of the 1960s spy sitcom “Get Smart,” starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, didn’t miss the top spot at the box office over the weekend. The Warner Bros. comedy spied $39.2 million in its debut, according to studio estimates reported by the Associated Press.
Mike Myers didn’t have any Austin Powers-style mojo going with “The Love Guru,” the other new wide release that opened over the weekend. The Paramount comedy starring Myers as a self-help guru helped itself to $14 million for just a No. 4 spot. It’s hard to tell what was more damaging for the movie: the stupid “American Idol” promo, the incredibly unfunny trailers or the constant stream of e-mails from Hindu protestors.
But it certainly couldn’t help that the weekend featured a rare showdown of two big movies in the same genre opening simultaneously. It was a sure bet that one of them was going to lose in that head-on box office collision.
In limited release, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” charmed her was to $222,697 in just five theaters, averaging $44,539 a cinema, compared with $10,012 in 3,911 theaters for “Get Smart,” according to the AP.
“Kit Kittredge,” released by Picturehouse and based on the popular line of American Girl dolls, stars Abigail Breslin as a 9-year-old aspiring newspaper reporter during the Depression. The film expands into wide release July 2, which means that the Will Smith superhero action-comedy “Hancock” will get some healthy competition.
DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s “Kung Fu Panda” and Universal’s “The Incredible Hulk” battled closely for second place.
In its third weekend, “Kung Fu Panda” kicked up $21.7 million, raising its domestic total to $155.6 million. “The Incredible Hulk” was right behind, smashing to $21.6 million in its second weekend to lift its total to $96.5 million.
Since I’m on the road traveling, I caught in the old hotel standby “USA Today” that “The Incredible Hulk” has dropped 61 percent from its debut. That’s not as huge as the 70 percent drop for Ang Lee’s 2003 “Hulk,” the new film has scared up $96.5 million. That’s not horrible, but it’s well short of its $150 million budget, according to this USA Today story.
Hollywood’s summer surge continued, with total revenues climbing for the fourth straight weekend compared to last year. The top 12 movies took in $136.9 million, up nearly 10 percent from the same weekend in 2007, when Carell’s “Evan Almighty” opened at No. 1 with $31.2 million, according to the AP.
The industry is on track to beat the revenue record set last summer, when receipts topped $4 billion for the first time.
“While the country may be suffering with a so-called recession, people are finding movies a fairly inexpensive way to get their entertainment,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers, in the AP story. ”This proves the conventional wisdom that, during tough economic times, the movies flourish.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC, released by the AP.
1. “Get Smart,” $39.2 million.
2. “Kung Fu Panda,” $21.7 million.
3. “The Incredible Hulk,” $21.6 million.
4. “The Love Guru,” $14 million.
5. “The Happening,” $10 million.
6. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” $8.4 million.
7. “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” $7.2 million.
8. “Sex and the City,” $6.5 million.
9. “Iron Man,” $4 million.
10. “The Strangers,” $1.9 million.