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Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 07-05-11


 
Jennifer Aniston as Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. in “Horrible Bosses”

Jennifer Aniston as Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. in “Horrible Bosses”

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – In Theaters June 29th

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – In Theaters June 29th

Shia LaBeouf, Michael Bay, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Tyrese Gibson at the New York premiere of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Shia LaBeouf, Michael Bay, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Tyrese Gibson at the New York premiere of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Alexia Echevarria at the Miami premiere of “Zookeeper”

Alexia Echevarria at the Miami premiere of “Zookeeper”

“Horrible” horizon: It’s good news and bad news when next weekend’s number one movie is a safe bet to be the same as this week’s big winner.

But with “Horrible Bosses” from New Line and Rat Entertainment and “Zookeeper” from Columbia and Happy Madison on the horizon, that’s exactly what to expect. The bad news is both are tracking modestly, so Paramount and Hasbro’s blockbuster “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” will hold on to first place.

But the good news is that “Transformers 3” reinvigorated the post–“Green Lantern” boxoffice by grossing about $181 million for its first six and a half days. It’s the shot in the arm that theatre owners badly needed. Even if it drops 60 percent from the roughly $97.5 million it did Friday through Sunday, it will still gross nearly $40 million in its second weekend.

“Horrible” or “Zookeeper” aren”t going to beat that. Of the two, “Horrible’s” doing less horribly in the tracking — but it’s only a mid-single digits first choice overall. That’s definitely disappointing since it’s an R-rated comedy that should appeal to the same youthful audience that’s been flocking to multiplexes this summer to see R (for raunchy) rated comedies like “The Hangover, Part II” (nearly $250 million), “Bridesmaids” (nearly $154 million), and “Bad Teacher” (about $63 million and building).

Considering that “Horrible’s” stars include Jennifer Aniston, one of today’s highest profile media celebs, for the picture to be tracking so poorly is distressing. Worse yet, “Horrible’s” first choice tracking is not with the under-25 crowd. It’s strongest with 25+ males and second best with 25+ females.

By the way, that’s the same adult demo that turned out for “Larry Crowne,” which was distributed by Universal but whose modest $30 million budget was financed by Vendome Pictures. “Larry” opened to only about $16 million for the four day July Fourth weekend. Actually, “Larry” wasn’t just adult in its appeal, it played downright old. Almost three-quarters of its opening weekend audience was over 50 — and in Hollywood speak that’s really over the hill. Sorry, but that’s what they think!

Now it makes sense that older moviegoers wanted to see “Larry’s” iconic adult stars Tom Hanks (54) and Julia Roberts (43). “Horrible,” whose budget reportedly was only about $35 million, should play younger than that, but it’s still going to draw a 25+ crowd. Its cast includes key stars in their early-40s (Aniston and Jason Bateman are both 42) and mid-30s (Jason Sudeikis is 36 and Charlie Day is 35).

Nonetheless, you’d think “Horrible” would be on under-25 moviegoers’ radar since Aniston’s a high profile smokin’ hot celeb who looks way younger than she is in a bikini or miniskirt and is always on display in media targeted to young adults.

As for the PG rated animal comedy “Zookeeper,” it’s tracking so low it makes “Horrible” look healthy! It’s only fair to note, however, that family movies often don’t track well because kids aren’t part of the research interviewing process. But you do get a sense in the tracking of how moms-with-kids feel about such films. “Zookeeper’s” 25+ female scores are only slightly better than its overall numbers. Its budget reportedly was in the $80 million to $90 million range.

“Horrible” and “Zookeeper” will struggle for whatever they can get next weekend. Meanwhile, “Larry” and July Fourth’s other under-performing newcomer, Fox and New Regency’s “Monte Carlo,” which opened to less than $9 million but only cost about $20 million, will be going nowhere.

Bottom line: Don’t despair — Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” is on the way! It’s already tracking in seriously impressive double digits — even more than “Transformers 3” had when it opened — and it could be bigger yet by the time it arrives July 15.