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Sunday, June 22, 2008

'Get Smart' unseats 'Hulk' for top spot with $39.1m, June 20-22, 2008

Warner Bros.'s big-screen update of the classic 1960s spy tv series Get Smart debuted with an estimated $39.2 million this weekend, knocking off last week's champ The Incredible Hulk while averaging an impressive $10,012 in an ultrawide 3,911 theaters.

Starring Steve Carrell as bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart, the PG-13 film gave the actor his best opening ever in a lead role (despite decidedly lukewarm reviews), surpassing last summer's Evan Almighty with $31.1 million. It was also the biggest debut ever for co-star Anne Hathaway, whose 2006 break-out pic The Devil Wears Prada opened with $27.5 million. Budgeted at $80 million, the film will need solid word of mouth to become profitable in North America.

Falling just 35% in its third week of release was DreamWorks Animation's hit comedy Kung Fu Panda, which took in $21.7 million pushing its 17-day haul to $155.6 million. The film will need as much ammo as it can get leading in to next weekend's release of the highly-anticipated Pixar-Disney film Wall-e which opens Friday. At its current pace Panda looks headed for a $230 million domestic gross.

Falling a dreadful 61% in its sophomore frame was last week's champ The Incredible Hulk which took in $21.6 million in third. In ten days the angry green giant has grossed $96.5 million. Budgeted at $150 million, the film's hefty drop was still able to beat out 2003's Hulk, which fell a frightening 70% in its sophomore frame for a $100.6 million 10-day cume. That Ang Lee directed pic finished with $132.2 million. Look for Marvel Studios's reboot to pull in $145 million domestic.

Debuting in a distant fourth was Mike Myers' latest comedy offering The Love Guru, which took in $14 million in 3,012 theaters for a $4,648 average. Slaughtered by critics in a manner that could challenge The Happening as the worst reviewed film all year, the PG-13 release became the lowest grossing opener for Myers since 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. That film gained a huge cult following that spawned two highly profitable sequels, something highly unlikely to occur with the $62m budgeted Guru.

Speaking of The Happening, M. Night Shyamalan's latest thriller fell 67% in its sophomore frame to $10 million, bringing its 10-day take to $50.3 million. Budgeted at $60 million, Night's first foray into R-rated territory should still net Fox a solid $70 million domestic. The director's lowest grossing film still remains 2006's fairytale flop Lady in the Water with $42.3 million.

Perhaps the biggest news of the weekend should be that Marvel Studios' Iron Man has surpassed $300 million, $304.8 million to be exact. Budgeted at $140 million, the Robert Downey Jr. starrer has been one of the biggest surprises in a relatively uneventful summer season. Worldwide the film has now amassed $554.3 million, a huge number for a new franchise pic.

The top ten films continued their success streak, grossing $134.4 million over the weekend to finish up 10% from last year's comparable frame when Evan Almighty topped with $31.2 million.

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