Another weekend, another pair of male stars headlining a broad comedy looking to take down Inception [INCPT]. Will Ferrell [WFERR] and Mark Wahlberg [MWAHL] star as The Other Guys [OTHRG], two bumbling desk cops thrust into action when NYPD’s finest, played by Dwayne Johnson [TROCK] and Samuel L. Jackson [SLJAC], are taken out of the picture. This is Ferrell’s fourth collaboration with director Adam McKay [AMCKA] as their last film, the R-rated Step Brothers, debuted at $30.9 million in 2008. Being a PG-13 rated buddy cop action comedy, The Other Guys should hold broader appeal with moviegoers. Opening in 3651 theaters, The Other Guys could take home $32 million.
After lingering at the top for three weeks, Inception looks to lose its grip of the box office crown. A similar drop in its fourth weekend as during its third frame would bring in $17 million.
Disney has replaced Channing Tatum with an extra dimension in the third film of their street-dancing franchise, Step Up 3D [STUP3]. The dance battle sequel is the first live-action film released in 3D that was actually shoot with 3D cameras since Avatar. The first Step Up debuted with $20.7 million in 2006 while Step Up 2 followed with $18.9 million in 2008. Even with higher priced tickets for 3D, the attendance pattern will likely continue to decline. Breakin’ into 2435 theaters, Step Up 3D could moonwalk away with around $16 million.
With mixed word of mouth and added competition from The Other Guys, the other comedy Dinner for Schmucks [SHMUC] may drop 45% and settle for $13 million in its second weekend of engagement.
That’s the whisper from the trading floor.
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