By Phil Contrino
It looks as though the marijuana-fueled antics of Seth Rogen and James Franco in Pineapple Express are going to lead to a strong box office debut.
According to studio estimates, Express brought in $12.15 million yesterday, which set a new record for the highest Wednesday opening in the month of August. 2004's The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement previously held the record with an $8.5 million gross on August 11th of that year.
"I don't think anyone expected an R-rated comedy to post such an extraordinary number on a Wednesday and we were all caught by surprise by its strength," said Steve Elzer, Senior Vice President, Media Relations for Columbia via email, "We have been screening the film aggressively in the field for many weeks and knew it played great. Forgive the pun, but we were confident there was a good buzz building on Pineapple Express. But no one expected this result and I think the best is still ahead of us this weekend."
Joel Cohen, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Movietickets.com, also has high expectations for Express in the days to come.
The film sold its first ticket at Movietickets.com on May 30th, and continued to post solid sales in June and July. More recently, the anticipation for the film has been very obvious based on how dominant it has been on the site.
Pineapple Express sold 20 times as many tickets on Tuesday than it did on Monday and it matched those figures again from Tuesday to Wednesday. In addition, the film accounted for 50% of ticket sales on the site for both Tuesday and Wednesday.
It now looks as though the run of
The Dark Knight
finishing in first will come to an end.