News

'Baby Mama,' 'Harold & Kumar' Yuk It Up

by Brandon Gray
Tina Fey in Baby Mama
April 27, 2008

Two new comedies perked up the weekend box office to medium range business by late April standards and a sizable increase over the same time last year.

Baby Mama knocked out a solid estimated $18.3 million on approximately 2,900 screens at 2,543 theaters. The $30 million comedy opened slightly higher than last weekend's heavily promoted Forgetting Sarah Marshall, appealing with the kind of pregnancy and parenting humor that has worked in past hits from Parenthood to Knocked Up. According to distributor Universal Pictures' exit polling, 68 percent of Baby Mama's audience was female and 55 percent was over 25 years old.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay inhaled an estimated $14.7 million on around 2,900 screens at 2,510 theaters. The $12 million marijuana-steeped comedy more than doubled the start of its 2004 predecessor, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and will soon exceed that movie's $18.3 million final gross. After its modest theatrical run, the first movie expanded its audience, leading to greater box office for the sequel, which promised a similar trip in its marketing.

Also opening, Deception flopped with an estimated $2.2 million at 2,001 venues. Erotic thrillers disappoint more often than not, but this picture was at the bottom of the subgenre.

Last weekend's top two, The Forbidden Kingdom and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, retreated within typical ranges. Forbidden Kingdom deflated 47 percent to an estimated $11.2 million for $38.3 million in ten days, while Sarah Marshall subsided 38 percent to an estimated $11 million for $35.1 million in ten days. 88 Minutes ticked off 48 percent, and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed devolved a steep 54 percent.

Nim's Island logged the smallest drop among nationwide releases, down 20 percent to an estimated $4.5 million for $39 million in 24 days. 21 and Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! also held well, and the latter is still the highest grossing picture of the year by a country mile with $147.9 million in 45 days. Its reign should be short-lived as the summer movie season kicks off next weekend with the release of Iron Man and the hope of a revitalized box office after a rough past few months.

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