Entertainment Today and Beyond

Never Met a Zombi I Didn’t Like…

LAND OF THE LOST crashes and burns and other box-office news of interest

land of the lost 1Universal has to be pretty shell shocked after the disastrous $18,837,350 opening for its $100 million dollar comedy version of “Land of the Lost” which stars Will Ferrell. Considering the marketing budget was reportedly $40 million, the studio is pretty much guaranteed to take a bath on the film. I believe this is the worst opening for a high profile summer film with a budget of $100 mill or more since Warner Bros Poseidon remake sunk in its opening frame with $22.1 million in 2006. By the way Warner Bros, will you please release an extended cut version on DVD. Everyone knows Poseidon was test screened with a running time of 150 minutes, an infinitely better version. It was released into theaters at 90 minutes after Wolfgang Peterson knobbed off an hour, deciding to make it a non-stop action film. Enough venting on that subject… Anyway Land of the Lost is proof that big budget filmmaking is a risky form of high stakes gambling. This is an example when it didn’t pay off with audience rejection before viewing. The people josh_lucas17who did see it will not be spreading great word of mouth. Chalk this one under sizable tax write-off.

As for The Hangover’s $44,979,319 opening, it’s proof that people do read reviews and follow a film’s buzz weeks before release. How else do you explain a film that features a cast of relatively unknowns scoring this big? It’s also proof that audiences are clamoring for new things which is always a refreshing sign. One has to wonder if Judd Apatow’s “Funny People” will be embraced this well when it opens July 31.

I’m really curious about Tony Scott’s remake of Taking of Pelham 123 when it hits theaters this weekend. R-rated action thrillers used to be commonplace in the 80’s and 90’s with the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard series, but Hollywood now has cold feet. 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard and this summer’s Terminator Salvation were both released with PG-13 ratings in an effort to open up the film’s potential audience. Denzel Washington is still a draw so I fully expect a solid weekend of business.

Overseas, Terminator Salvation dominated in its major foreign rollout. Playing in 70 markets, the sci-fi action picture drew $65.2 million (including previews), lifting its total to $99.1 million and out-pacing Terminator 3 in comparable markets by close to 20 percent through the same point. The Night of the Museum sequel was second with $27.9 million ($149.6 million total), followed by Angels & Demons, which mustered $22.1 million and stands as 2009’s top-grossing picture internationally at $291 million.

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June 9, 2009 - Posted by | And Beyond - Trailers & News | ,

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