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B.O. Weekend Tracking: 'Get Smart' Solid with $33M-$36M

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Jun 20, 2008 | 7:16am EDT

Not much change in my weekend predictions from Monday’s early preview. Virtually everyone I talk to has Steve Carell’s Get Smart (Warner Bros) at $35M or so. If the number holds, it will be an excellent start, becoming Carell’s all-time best live action opening as an above-the-title star. His best to-date is last summer’s Evan Almighty, which managed just $31.2M.

The reviews are coming in with a positive lean. As of Thursday morning, Rotten Tomatoes has the late ‘60s TV adaptation at 53 percent Fresh and MetaCritic is scoring at 52 percent Positive. With a PG-13 rating, the movie has a chance to play to Baby Boomers, who are fans of the original show, Generation X’ers, who saw the reruns, and teens that know Carell from The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Little Miss Sunshine. I am calling for $33M-$36M for Get Smart with a possible upside surprise in the cards. 

Incredible Hulk (Universal), Marvel’s second self-financed and self-produced feature, is a lock for No. 2. With a solid A- CinemaScore rating from opening weekend and positive word-of-mouth, a 45 percent-50 percent drop is likely, paving the way for $24M-$27M.

The other new wide release this weekend is Paramount’s Love Guru, featuring the latest original character from Mike Myers. My sources tell me that the tracking remains soft. One of the world’s hottest women, Jessica Alba, should be 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, but reviews for Love Guru are scathing. I am revising my prediction range to $18M-$21M. 

Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks/Paramount) has the animation audience all to itself for another week with Pixar’s Wall-E on the sidelines until next Friday. With Jack Black as the lead voice, roly-poly Po the Panda is headed for another $16-$19M and a new cume of about $150M. Paramount is well on its way to back-to-back-to-back $200M+ grossing movies with Iron Man followed by Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull followed by Kung Fu Panda (although Love Guru will clearly snap that streak).

M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening will round out the top five with something along the lines of $14M-$17M. I am not a film critic, but I saw this R-rated genre picture last weekend, and in my estimation it is highly original and pretty chilling. The payoff is not perfect, but if you are looking for something a little darker in advance of next week’s much buzzed-about Wanted, The Happening is a good bet this weekend.

FINAL PREDICTIONS FOR WEEKEND OF JUNE 20

1. Get Smart (Warner Bros) - $35M

2. Incredible Hulk (Universal) - $27M

3. Love Guru (Paramount) - $20M

4. Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $18M

5. The Happening (Fox) - $16.75M

6. You Don't Mess with the Zohan (Sony) - $9M

7. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (Paramount) - $8.75M

8. Sex and the City (Warner Bros) - $5.25M

9. Iron Man (Paramount) - $3.8M

10. The Strangers (Rogue) - $2.1M

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