By Phil Contrino
It’s no secret that every weekend of the summer is full of big movies.
Between juggernauts that have been out for weeks and are still doing well to new releases hitting theatres with publicity campaigns operating at full capacity. Every weekend brings with it the possibility of a record-breaking blockbuster and/or the occurrence of a dud.
Yet in the past two weekends, the latest releases haven’t really hindered each other. Kung Fu Panda and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan both opened very well during the weekend of June 6th, and this past weekend The Incredible Hulk and The Happening were able to dodge negative buzz on their way to successful openings.
The same may not be said after this weekend.
On Friday, we will see the opening of two films that, while not similar in plot, exist in very similar territory. Both Get Smart and The Love Guru are star-driven comedies, they are both rated PG-13, and they both feature supporting performances from popular young actresses.
So the question is Who will end up at #1 when the box office receipts are counted?
“I’d put my money on Get Smart ” said Chad Hartigan, Box Office Analyst for Exhibitor Relations.
“I think there’s a couple of reasons. The most obvious of which is that it’s based on familiar material. Any time that there is a match up between an unknown entity and something with a built-in fan base, no matter how big or small that built-in fan base is it automatically gives it a sort of leg up. Get Smart is a TV show that still airs on some channels and it definitely has its fans.”
Hartigan also points to the recent success of television adaptations such as Sex and the City and Alvin and the Chipmunks as another reason why Get Smart will come out on top.
Grabbing audiences outside of teenage demographics is also going to be crucial to the success of both films. Hartigan feels that Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Co. have the edge here as well.
“ Get Smart kind of has the appearance of a more family friendly film Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway both have this sort of wholesome image, compared to Mike Myers who’s sort of known for his innuendos and crude humor.”
Walt Borchers, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Movietickets.com, has a different opinion.
“If I had to pick, I would bet on Mike Myers at this point” said Borchers, who has already seen both movies. “(
The Love Guru
) is one of those vehicles that I think is going to do extremely well. It seems to be that the PR machine is running full blast now for this film. I’m seeing (Mike Myers) everywhere and I think (
The Love Guru
) is going to outperform
In addition, Borchers isn’t that confident about Steve Carell’s drawing power.
“As much as I love The Office and as much as I like Steve Carell, the last couple of his movies haven’t done that well.”
Anybody have a coin we can flip?