Box Office Barometer 7-11-11: Horrible Bosses Is On To Something

Usually when Hollywood pairs an up-and-coming talent with an older star, it’s to extend a franchise (a la Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol).  However with Horrible Bosses, it’s a plot device that works perfectly in favor for those young talents talents.

Granted, Jason Bateman isn’t up-and-coming, but as Vulture points out, he’s no box office draw.  As the other Charlie Day/Jason Sudeikis movie (Going the Distance) showed, a movie sold on the ensemble cast of Justin Long, Day and Sudeikis, coupled with the star power of Drew Barrymore, does not equal box office success ($17 million domestic).  However, when you infuse a movie with the caliber of Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell, it at least pops up on people’s radar.  Just look at Netflix’s all-time #1 movie rental Crash.  It’s loaded with actors.  Anytime somebody types in “Don Cheadle,” “Sandra Bullock,” “Matt Dillon,” or even “Ludacris,” this movie pops up.  That kind of awareness propelled this movie to a $28.1 million weekend.

Although most comedies feature a great ensemble cast, the cast is usually marveled at in retrospect.  Anchorman starred Will Ferrell, but the cast was elevated to iconic when Paul Rudd’s and Steve Carrell’s careers took off years later.

As in the tradition of established comics bringing up talented, younger comics (Garry Shandling and Judd Apatow, Judd Apatow with everybody else), Horrible Bosses pulls a great bait-and-switch on this concept: grab audiences’ attention with the stars, then entertain the hell out of them with the leads.  With studios on the fence about the wide appeal of comedies, hopefully this format can sway them back to the right side.

Box Office Results [from Deadline]

1. Transformers 3 3D (Paramount) Week 2 [4,088 Theaters]
Friday $14.9M, Saturday $18.4M, Weekend $47M (-54%), Cume $261M

2. Horrible Bosses (New Line/Warner Bros) NEW [3,040 Theaters]
Friday $9.9M, Saturday $10.3M, Cume $28.1M

3. Zookeeper (MGM/Sony) NEW [3,482 Theaters]
Friday $7.4M, Saturday $7.5M, Weekend $21M

4. Cars 2 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 3 [3,990 Theaters]
Friday $4.8M, Saturday $6M, Weekend $15.2M, Cume $148.8M

5. Bad Teacher (Sony) Week 3 [2,962 Theaters]
Friday $3M, Saturday $3.5M, Weekend $9M, Cume $78.7M

6. Larry Crowne (Vendome/Universal) Week 2 [2,976 Theaters]
Friday $2M, Saturday $2.4M, Weekend $6.3M (-52%), Cume $26.4M

7. Super 8 (Paramount) Week 5 [2,292 Theaters]
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.8M, Cume $118M

8. Monte Carlo (Fox) Week 2 [2,473 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.3M, Saturday $3.8M, Cume $16.1M

9. Mr Popper’s Penguins (Fox) Week 4 [1,996 Theaters]
Friday $1M, Saturday $1M, Weekend $2.8M, Cume $57.7M

10. Midnight In Paris (Sony Classics) Week 9 [819 Theaters]
Friday $790K, Saturday $1.1M, Weekend $2.7M, Cume $38.6M


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