The Will Ferrell basketball spoof “Semi-Pro” (New Line) netted first place at the movie box office for the weekend ending March 2, but the R-rated comedy grossed an estimated $15.2 million, well short of its projections, according to estimates released today by box office trackers.
Compared to some of Ferrell’s recent comedies, the opening weekend for “Semi-Pro” was rather flat. For example, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” grossed an impressive $47 million on its opening weekend in 2006, and last year’s “Blades of Glory” grossed $33 million in its first weekend. Both films went on to generate more than $100 million at the box office, but none of Ferrell’s comedies that grossed less than $30 million at the box office on opening weekend went on to gross $100 million, which does not portend a rosy financial future for Ferrell’s latest effort.
Last week’s leader, the thriller “Vantage Point” (Columbia Pictures) took the No. 2 spot with $13 million, while the fantasy “The Spiderwick Chronicles” (Paramount and Nickelodeon), reaped $8.8 million. Fourth place went to the period drama “The Other Boleyn Girl” (Columbia Pictures and Focus Features) at $8.3 million. Last week’s third-place film, the sci-fi “Jumper” (Fox), nabbed fifth place with $7.6 million.
“No Country for Old Men” enjoyed a ticket sale boost after grabbing the Best Picture Oscar, and following a push to get it onto additional screens, now up to about 2,000. The film about a drug crime gone wrong re-entered the Top 10 after 17 weeks in theaters, earning an estimated $4 million for the weekend. “Most best-picture winners enjoy a boost as studios freshen the ad campaign and sometimes expand to more cities,” Scott Bowles wrote today on USAToday.com. “But [No country’s] $1.6 million surge is the most since 1992’s ‘Unforgiven,’ which picked up $1.7 million more after its win.”
Fellow Oscars-winners did not fare quite as well. “There Will Be Blood” dropped 40 percent after its best-actor win for Daniel Day-Lewis. “Juno,” for which writer Diablo Cody won best original screenplay, dropped 19 percent to $3.4 million, according to Bowles.