MONDAY 9 p.m. (Pacific): Will a send-up of Deepak Chopra from the man who created Austin Powers generate big box office? Or will Steve Carell successfully deadpan his way to the top of the box office heap with a revival of the late ‘60s TV classic Get Smart (Warner Bros)? The latest industry tracking seems to point toward a win for Warner Bros.
Mike Myers has been not made a big screen appearance with the exception of the last two Shrek movies since his role in The Cat in the Hat five years ago. The reality is that he has a very thin resume when it comes to live action movies.
ALL TIME BEST MIKE MYERS OPENINGS
1. 2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember: 73.07M opening; $213.3M cume
2. 1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: $54.91M opening; $206M cume
3. 2003 The Cat in the Hat: $38.32M opening; $101.14M cume
4. 1992 Wayne’s World: $18.12 opening; $121.69M cume
5. 1993 Wayne’s World 2: $13.51M opening; $48.19M cume
6. 1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: $9.54M opening; $53.88M cume
7. 2003 View from the Top: $7M opening; $15.61M cume
8. 1998 54: $6.61M opening; $16.75M cume
9. 1993 So I Married An Axe Murderer: $3.46M opening; $11.58M cume
My sources are telling me that the tracking for Love Guru (Paramount) is very soft. One of the world’s hottest women, Jessica Alba, is a drawing card with the two Fantastic Four movies on her resume, which both opened to $50M+. Recording superstar and quickly rising actor Justin Timberlake will also bring Under 25’s to the multiplex.
There was some initial criticism of Love Guru from Hindu leaders, but Deepak Chopra has rushed to support Mike Myers in Time magazine.”The premature outcry against the movie is itself religious propaganda. As viewers will find out when the movie is released this summer, no one is more thoroughly skewered in it than I am ‘ you could even say that I am made to seem preposterous.”
In the final analysis, will the Under 25 crowd be interested in the silly skewering of modern spirituality? In my estimation, it will be a tough sell. At the moment, I am forecasting $20M-$25M for the opening weekend of Love Guru.
The situation looks much better for Get Smart from Warner Bros. The release of two major studios comedies this Friday, June 20 is problematic for both movies, but Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99 seem to be getting more traction in industry tracking.
ALL-TIME BEST OPENINGS FOR PETER SEGAL-DIRECTED FILMS
1. The Longest Yard: $47.6M
2. Anger Management: $42.22M
3. The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps: $42.51M
4. 50 First Dates: $39.85M
5. The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult: $13.21M
Additionally, Steve Carell has had far more recent success than Mike Myers, including NBC’s The Office, last summer’s Evan Almighty ($31.19M opening – $100.46M domestic), the well-reviewed, solid hit Dan in Real Life, which got to $47.63M domestic last year, the indie smash Little Miss Sunshine ($21.42M opening – $109.44M cume) and, of course, the huge success of 40 Year-Old Virgin during the summer of 2005, which fell just shy of $110M. domestic.
One of best sources is calling for low $30’s ($30M-$35M range) as of Monday night, but I suspect that this one has an chance to get $40M this Friday-Sunday. I will update the latest tracking and publish my final predictions on Thursday.