According to studio sources, Get Smart (Warner Bros) has the early edge on The Love Guru (Paramount) in industry tracking in next Friday’s battle of big studio comedies. It has been 40 years since the television debut of Don Adams and his “cone of silence” on NBC, but Get Smart, created by comedy legends Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, seems to be getting some traction with a whole new generation.
Peter Segal (The Longest Yard, 50 First Dates) has helmed the adaptation of the late ’60s TV classic with Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, and, despite trailing The Love Guru in Un-Aided Awareness four percent to three percent and Total Awareness 80 percent-78 percent, Get Smart holds a decisive advantage in the Definite Interest and First Choice columns.
Get Smart checks in with 36 percent Definite Interest while the Mike Myers created Guru is softer at 27 percent, although a healthy chunk of its appeal is with the 25+ crowd. The 2 movies are basically even in Definite Interest among under 25’s, but Males 25+ lean toward Get Smart 31 percent to 18 percent and Females 25+ choose Carell and company 36 percent to 15 percent, indicating some nostalgia for familiar characters.
My sources report that at the moment the Warner Bros comedy has a seven percent First Choice compared to three percent for The Love Guru, so Get Smart looks like the best bet for next weekend. There are still plenty of ad dollars to be spent, and this week alone, Justin Timberlake will hit The Tonight Show Tuesday, Mike Myers will appear with Leno Thursday and Ben Kingsley is on Letterman Thursday as well. But, as of today, I am predicting that Get Smart will get to $30-$35M while The Love Guru seems more like $25M-$30M.