Funny People Gets Last Laugh? - Featured

If you think Funny People was tough to figure out as a movie--Is it a comedy? Is it a drama?--try making sense of its box-office debut.

The Judd Apatow-directed, Adam Sandler-fronted hybrid grossed $23.4 million Friday-Sunday, per estimates, enough to top the weekend standings.

And while the take reigned over Reign Over Me, Spanglish and Sandler's other un-comic pieces, it didn't really stack up, dollar for dollar, with Apatow's previous films.

Crunching the numbers:

* In comedy, timing is everythiing. With Funny People, definition is everything. "If you consider it a dramedy, it's a success," Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said today. "If you consider it an out-and-out Adam Sandler comedy, it's a bit of disappointment."

* Regardless of definition, among Sandler movies opening on at least 3,000 screens, Funny People is the star's lowest-ever opener.

* Among Sandler movies opening on at least 3,000 screens, Funny People is the only one to run more than two hours, carry an R rating and costar Seth Rogen, although that last one is probably beside the point.

* Among Rogen movies, Funny People is the actor's biggest opener since 2007's Superbad.

* For Apatow-directed movies, Funny People sits between The 40-Year-Old Virgin ($21.4 million) and Knocked Up ($30.7 million).

* With a reputed budget of $70-$75 million, Funny People cost more than twice as much as Knocked Up, and nearly three times as much as 40-Year-Old Virgin. Both of those earlier comedies earned their budgets back in their first weekends; Funny People only got about one-third of the way there.

* In the end, Bock thinks Funny People did what it needed to do to keep everyone happy, including Universal Pictures, which just signed Apatow to direct three more movies.

* Bruno watch: Out of the Top 10 after three weekends, and a $59.1 million domestic gross.

* Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat only lasted two more weekends in the Top 10 than Bruno. By the time it slipped from the upper ranks, however, it had made about twice as much as Bruno.

* Last weekend's No. 1 movie, G-Force ($17.1 million) held up pretty well, although less so in the standings, where it slipped two places, to third.

* After its second-weekend nosedive, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($17.7 million) stablized, held onto second and brought its overall total up to $255.5 million.

* If Harry Potter has any designs on becoming the year's top-grossing movie, it better get busy, and/or cast a spell on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which slid to 10th place, but picked up another $4.6 million, and upped its haul to a towering $388.1 million.

* Katherine Heigl's The Ugly Truth ($13 million) took the standard second-weekend deduction.

* Reputed budget for Aliens in the Attic, costarring Andy Richter: $60 million. Disastrous three-day debut: $7.8 million. Being able to shrug off weekend, and return to The Tonight Show set on Monday: Priceless.

* The new horror movie The Collector got a good scare: Its $3.6 million debut wasn't enough to land it a spot in the Top 10.

* Public Enemies was eliminated from the Top 10 after four weekends, and a $93.1 million run that trumped its reported budget ($80 million), and marked the second-biggest gross of Johnny Depp's non-Jack Sparrow career.

* In limited release, the romantic-comedy Adam put up the weekend's best, theater-for-theater numbers, grossing $66,265 at just four venues. The Korean vampire flick Thirst was a little big movie, too, taking in $55,173 at four theaters.

Here's a complete look at the weekend's top-grossing films based on Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

1. Funny People, $23.4 million

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, $17.7 million

3. G-Force, $17.1 million

4. The Ugly Truth, $13 million

5. Aliens in the Attic, $7.8 million

6. Orphan, $7.3 million

7. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $5.3 million

8. The Hangover, $5.1 million

9. The Proposal, $4.8 million

10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $4.6 million


1 comment

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Aug 2, 2009 9:28PM EDT

I dont get why there are so many articles saying that Funny People is a failure of a movie for only making 23.4 million. That weekend gross for a comedy is good. Just becuase other adam sandler movies have grossed more, how does that mean this movie is a failure? It was the #1 movie this week, beating out the third week of Harry Potter and the 2nd week of G-Force which both had around 17 million and nearly doubled what The Ugly Truth did. Was it the best Sandler movie or best Apatow movie, No, but it was a solid movie that hits as both a comedy as well as a drama. Sandler and Rogen were both surprisingly good with the heavier material while still providing the laughs. All the critic reviews I saw prior to the release were all good, so I dont understand why all these articles are calling it a failure just because it made only 23.4 million and took the #1 spot? How much money a movie makes does not make it a good movie or a bad movie, Transformers 2 was a terrible movie with no plot and it made like 70 million its first weekend. I'm not a movie studio, all I care about is whether or not this movie is worth seeing, and it is.

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