Moviegoers continued to flock to "Funny People" on Saturday, helping to boost the film to $23.4 million and putting it squarely in the middle of some studio controversy. Nikke Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily is crowing that this is the first "soft" weekend of the summer, and that the comedy is yet another flop for the troubled Universal Studios.
"The studio all along tried to lower expectations by predicting an opening weekend of $25 million. But the pic couldn't get there and settled for a disappointing $23.4M." Universal is insisting that the film met its expectations, and dismisses all reports to the contrary. Certainly, the opening "Funny" weekend isn't that far off Judd Apatow's previous comedies "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up," which opened to $21.4 and $30.7, respectively.
Thanks to its IMAX expansion, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" soared up to #2 on Saturday night with $17.7 million so far for the weekend. When the film's release date was moved from Fall 2008 to Summer 2009, it was unable to book any IMAX showings due to "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" having claimed and contracted them all. Whether the change seriously damaged the "Potter" box office is open to argument, but the movie is enjoying a surge now. Not to mention a 19 day cumulative of $255.5 million, which is hardly disappointing.
Fox is disappointed with "Aliens in the Attic," which is still languishing on Sunday at #5 with only $7.8 million. Its young audience clearly preferred to catch "Potter" in IMAX, or to go for Jerry Bruckheimer's "G-Force" guinea pigs, which is at $17.1 million so far for the weekend, and is nibbling at a cumulative of $66.5 million.
Did you catch "Harry Potter" in IMAX this weekend? Did you prefer "Funny People"? Or were you one of the few who braved "Aliens in the Attic"?