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Whisper Numbers: Horrible Bosses and Zookeeper fight for seconds.

Two new comedies enter the box office fray this weekend but neither will be strong enough to unseat Transformers: Dark of the Moon [TFRM3] from the top spot. Even though the 3D sequel has been generating strong word of mouth, record opening weekends usually lead to a significant drop-off.   Transformers: Dark of the Moon may phase out around 55% to $45 million, a still stellar second weekend.

Horrible Bosses [HRBOS] looks to keep the streak of R-rated comedy hits going this summer. The ensemble cast features Jason Bateman [JBATE], Jason Sudeikis [JSUDE] and Charlie Day [CDAY] as three hapless buddies who want to kill their employers played by Kevin Spacey [KSPAC], Jennifer Aniston [JANIS] and Colin Farrell [CFARR]. While each star on its own is not a box office draw, their combined star wattage should attract adult moviegoers of both genders. The story concept is relatable and easy to market. Opening in 3040 theaters, Horrible Bosses could squeeze out about $27 million.

Kevin James [KJAME] toplines the PG-rated comedy Zookeeper [ZOOKP]. Sony picked up the film which was originally set for release last year by MGM. The long stay may have cool off James’ heat from 2009’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which opened to $31.8 million. Adults already saw James play a similar man getting dating advice in Hitch, so the only difference in Zookeeper are the talking animals, which appeal primarily to young children. Competition for the family crowd should be minimal as Cars 2 [CARS2] and Mr. Popper’s Penguins [POPNG] are fading. Displaying in 3482 theaters, Zookeeper could rein in around $22 million.

Cars 2 is not holding as well as previous Pixar films. Fast running out of gas, the sequel may decline to $14 million for its third weekend.

Only senior citizens are showing interest in Larry Crowne [LCROW]. The comedy looks to drop 45% in its second frame to about $7 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, July 7, 2011 @ 03:32 PM 6385 views

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