Jetlagged from traveling but home at last. Let’s start with the domestic bad news because that’s what Hollywood craves. New Line’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (3,160 theaters) is a complete disaster despite no fresh comedy at the multiplex since Identity Thief opened five weeks ago. This is Warner Bros’ 5th straight box office dud, continuing what has been an abysmal beginning of the year. Despite Warner Bros’ Best Picture Oscar win for Ben Affleck’s Argo, the studio’s woes began with Gangster Squad in January and continued with Bullet To The Head and Beautiful Creatures through February, and festered with the $200 million flop Jack The Giant Slayer on March 1.
Now the studio is counting on May to deliver big grosses again with The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and the much anticipated Man Of Steel. Any hope for an upside because of the casting of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey (who’s in the witness protection program in the trailers) is gone even with a modest $32 million production budget.
Those stars should have delivered at least a $20 million if not $30 million opening. Instead their picture will be lucky to max $11.1 million for its first weekend after grossing only $3.7 million Friday. And, remember, that includes 1,800 Thursday late shows, too.
Even worse, picture scored a ‘C+’ CinemaScore ,which will hurt word of mouth along with a dismal 25 percent positive reviews from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. What’s interesting to me is how many famous names are on the movie. Carell and Steve Buscemi play a washed-up Las Vegas magician duo, with Carrey in a small but flashy role as a rival street performer.
It also starred Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and James Gandolfini. It was directed by veteran TV helmer Don Scardino while Tyler Mitchell is credited with the story, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley credited with rewrites, and no less than Jason Reitman credited with the polish.
There’s a long list of credited producers, including Chris Bender and JC Spink of the management firm Benderspink, and Carell’s banner Carousel Productions which he runs with Vance DeGeneres who is Ellen’s older brother.
Burt Wonderstone was picked to open the SXSW film festival even though anyone could see that this movie was going nowhere. Everyone I talked to thought it would be weak from the get-go because magic just doesn’t sell at the box office. The marketing campaign fell on Carell’s shoulders with Carrey just a hired hand and not plugging the picture
Read More: deadline.com