Box Office Guru Preview: Semi-Pro Set To Slam Dunk The Competition

The Other Boleyn Girl, Penelope also opening.

by | February 28, 2008 | Comments

A triumvirate of films opens this weekend, but all will bow to the power of the mighty Will Ferrell and his latest outrageous comedy, Semi-Pro.

Will Ferrell storms the box office this weekend with his latest sports comedy, Semi-Pro. This time the funnyman takes on the world of professional basketball, following in the footsteps of 2007’s figure skating pic Blades of Glory and 2006’s racing flick Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. There is no question this kind of film is directly in Ferrell’s wheelhouse so he should slam another one out of the park – sorry, let me try that again… so this weekend should be a slam dunk for him.

Almost exactly a year ago, Blades of Glory opened with $33M on its way to a $118.5M final gross. In August of 2006, Talladega Nights opened with $47M on its way to $148M. The major differences between those two films and Semi-Pro is that the previous two were rated PG-13 while Semi-Pro has landed an R rating, and that people may be tiring of seeing Ferrell doing the same shtick over and over again. The rating will keep some of the young folks who dig Ferrell’s irreverent comedy, away from theaters. The shtick may keep some viewers away, but the fans will come out in droves and it shouldn’t hurt the overall grosses too much, as the film is the only major player in town. Opening on over 3,000 screens, Semi-Pro could gross $35M this weekend.

Will Ferrell as Jackie Moon in Semi-Pro.

Two other smaller films, both headlined by women, also open this weekend. First is The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. The film finds the two playing sisters, both trying to win the heart of the King of England. While both are critical darlings (and have a countless number of male fans), neither one is considered a big box office draw. Johansson’s biggest opening weekend (for a live action film) was 1998’s The Horse Whisperer, which opened to $13.6M. Portman of course starred in three episodes of the Star Wars saga, but if you exclude those films, her highest opening weekend was $25.6M for V for Vendetta back in March of 2006. That sounds reasonably impressive until you realize her next highest opening weekend for a film in which she had a leading role was last winter with Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium which opened with $9.6M.

The Other Boleyn Girl will likely cater to an audience of older women, although the joint star power of Johansson and Portman could bring in a somewhat younger crowd, as will Eric Bana who plays the aforementioned King. However the film opens on only about 1,000 screens and will likely get lost in the shuffle. While the film isn’t a romantic comedy and in fact has a twisted and scandalous storyline, there are no less than three romantic comedies still in the marketplace all of which cater to the same demographic. Look for The Other Boleyn Girl to open with around $5M.

The Boleyn girl and the other Boleyn girl.

The final new release this weekend is the long awaited Penelope starring Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy. The movie tells the tale of a woman who is forced to hide a family curse which will only be lifted if she can find true love. The film has aspects of science-fiction and fantasy which makes it a little different than the other romantic comedies out right now, but even with Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon’s name attached, the film will most likely get buried. Opening on around 1,200 screens, look for Penelope to gross around $4M this weekend.

Christina Ricci as Penelope.

Last weekend’s champ Vantage Point will likely lose business to the Ferrell juggernaut, but should still have a reasonable hold this weekend. Look for the ensemble political thriller to fall around 40% to around $14M.

LAST YEAR: Disney jumped all over the box office with the smash Wild Hogs, which grossed $39.7M making it the largest opening in March history for a live-action film (until the following weekend when 300 shattered the mark). The critically acclaimed Zodiac debuted in second place with $13.4M. Two-time champ Ghost Rider grossed $11.6M, while a second Disney film, Bridge to Terabithia made $8.9M. Jim Carrey‘s crossover into horror, The Number 23, crashed 56% and collected $6.5M in its second weekend.

Tag Cloud

HBO BAFTA remakes technology razzies finale CBS superhero TruTV Columbia Pictures Comedy Central disaster Rock Tubi posters Elton John NYCC Rom-Com scorecard Awards Tour streamig Writers Guild of America Emmy Nominations cinemax blockbuster 2016 A24 kong Hear Us Out Creative Arts Emmys TCA 2017 Podcast Disney Plus ABC Signature reviews Turner jamie lee curtis IFC Films Syfy Netflix Black Mirror king kong adenture Ovation hollywood thriller Prime Video summer preview documentary Endgame video on demand versus Apple TV+ GLAAD President sequels Chernobyl marvel comics action-comedy indiana jones worst movies Legendary spider-verse Biopics PaleyFest new york halloween Mystery zombie Disney+ Disney Plus crossover Best and Worst MTV WarnerMedia Captain marvel AMC Plus Pride Month wonder woman aapi docudrama Fox Searchlight mob Certified Fresh Stephen King critic resources werewolf Marvel Studios christmas movies Awards latino sopranos sequel critics scene in color witnail cars sitcom hispanic heritage month Star Wars Celebration Pet Sematary comic books MCU BBC America Travel Channel Film Festival rt labs critics edition best DGA Black History Month Holidays science fiction Sneak Peek Schedule Red Carpet spinoff screen actors guild Countdown TV renewals heist movie movie Sci-Fi 93rd Oscars scene in color series Disney Comedy RT21 new zealand Year in Review FXX APB Ellie Kemper japanese The Arrangement true crime leaderboard Kids & Family archives dexter Trailer USA psycho all-time FOX Hallmark broadcast Holiday Nominations Mindy Kaling movies scary movies 2020 Amazon Studios Food Network nbcuniversal streaming Disney Channel ESPN streaming movies emmy awards BET dc spain robots The Academy cops Avengers ratings cancelled TV series Character Guide obituary marvel cinematic universe game show IFC 99% Extras king arthur politics cancelled television Alien cults Image Comics criterion Photos comic book movies japan directors unscripted SXSW 2022 TV Comics on TV PBS doctor who obi wan period drama nfl Apple harry potter Lifetime documentaries laika NBA 79th Golden Globes Awards First Look interviews spy thriller child's play biopic joker south america mcc vs. VOD cartoon Sony Pictures Teen elevated horror Musical comic book movie Interview batman Turner Classic Movies kaiju nature E3 HBO Max CW Seed ITV diversity dogs 2017 theme song video Indigenous Wes Anderson Trophy Talk Martial Arts Animation sag awards Spike talk show superman Comic Book Reality Competition police drama hidden camera 21st Century Fox Fox News series based on movie Music Oscar DC Comics italian fast and furious trophy sports know your critic films Infographic spanish discovery miniseries live event Premiere Dates trailers cats YA CNN target TNT Western 45 summer TV preview television festivals dragons Sundance Now mutant TIFF award winner FX Cosplay NBC Women's History Month The Walt Disney Company BBC canceled TV shows spanish language teaser Academy Awards crime New York Comic Con Spectrum Originals Mary poppins Brie Larson genre toronto animated Grammys Fall TV Pop TV The Purge children's TV prank OneApp Focus Features Thanksgiving halloween tv Toys war Classic Film Fargo HFPA Mary Poppins Returns godzilla Ghostbusters Warner Bros. hist die hard renewed TV shows Acorn TV hispanic Broadway satire X-Men Reality Binge Guide saw Election 20th Century Fox Neflix Paramount Network WGN reboot Fantasy blaxploitation Drama SDCC travel Universal Pictures 24 frames Starz tv talk YouTube Showtime SundanceTV Hallmark Christmas movies james bond aliens 72 Emmy Awards Mary Tyler Moore First Reviews toy story Action composers Pacific Islander richard e. Grant anime ABC Family biography mission: impossible Epix History Horror asian-american summer TV a nightmare on elm street stoner Discovery Channel Heroines Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Baby Yoda Arrowverse Apple TV Plus foreign crime thriller ID 71st Emmy Awards MSNBC international Superheroes franchise Oscars 2019 2015 facebook live action book adaptation transformers docuseries pirates of the caribbean book Pixar screenings American Society of Cinematographers Quiz spider-man See It Skip It young adult natural history PlayStation Sony dreamworks olympics mockumentary IMDb TV Hollywood Foreign Press Association adventure USA Network TCA popular TV movies Emmys Esquire canceled Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt green book National Geographic historical drama psychological thriller romantic comedy OWN Spring TV 73rd Emmy Awards scene in color film series lord of the rings TV Land DC Universe 007 anthology Marvel boxoffice space Trivia Pirates TBS feel good classics deadpool Valentine's Day Mudbound Superheroe women crime drama parents Super Bowl LGBTQ Vudu kids blockbusters high school Exclusive Video Funimation rotten Amazon DC streaming service LGBT Musicals Winter TV Paramount Plus TCM RT History dceu Bravo Best Actor boxing The Witch slashers what to watch Nat Geo Television Academy Disney streaming service rt labs comedies Anna Paquin worst concert rom-coms Netflix Christmas movies San Diego Comic-Con cancelled TV shows Best Actress universal monsters indie Best Director El Rey scary FX on Hulu independent news Peacock political drama SXSW Best Picture singing competition slasher Film Shondaland VH1 Star Wars YouTube Red Sundance TV Crunchyroll quibi strong female leads football black free movies Rocketman BBC One Freeform cooking fresh Comic-Con@Home 2021 Tomatazos target scene in color BET Awards breaking bad serial killer vampires Crackle TV One Britbox 2018 justice league french Hulu Tarantino Cartoon Network South by Southwest Film Festival ghosts Dark Horse Comics DirecTV casting Lionsgate debate Box Office E! supernatural Masterpiece Cannes art house venice Winners comic Star Trek gangster Geeked Week Tumblr Summer Television Critics Association cancelled GIFs A&E Walt Disney Pictures black comedy HBO Go ABC game of thrones Country The Walking Dead suspense social media Amazon Prime The CW Set visit Paramount new star wars movies 1990s adaptation dramedy Christmas binge Nickelodeon Calendar Tokyo Olympics rotten movies we love TCA Winter 2020 festival 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Family Adult Swim 94th Oscars legend dark romance twilight ViacomCBS Shudder Logo Opinion zombies jurassic park Rocky YouTube Premium Watching Series AMC telelvision stand-up comedy Instagram Live Sundance royal family australia monster movies CMT medical drama rt archives Tags: Comedy zero dark thirty 2021 Polls and Games comiccon name the review Marathons CBS All Access chucky Marvel Television Universal Native Lucasfilm golden globes TLC MGM VICE comics 90s Song of Ice and Fire Video Games Lifetime Christmas movies Amazon Prime Video revenge Paramount Pictures basketball golden globe awards TCA Awards 4/20 Pop GoT stop motion