Sunday box office update — “The Proposal” makes it to the altar

It’s a gorgeous and breezy afternoon as I type this from the relatively bare business center of the otherwise swanky W hotel which abides in the shadow of UCLA and, during the Los Angeles Film Festival, a small but select chunk of the film industry. That may include some of those who could be effected by the news, apparently first reported by the redoubtable Nikki Finke, that perceived poor management skills and excessively neurotic behavior have led studio chief Brad Grey to commit to a major management shakeup at Paramount. (The Hollywood Reporter has a considerably more staid version of the story up.)

I’ll finally start writing about some of what I’m seeing and hearing at the festival later tonight, but first it’s time for the numbers. Those were especially good for Ms. Sandra Bullock who, with the help of Ryan Reynolds and what Variety sees as “pent-up demand” for rom-coms, scored an estimated $34.1 million with “The Proposal.” That would be Bullock’s biggest opening ever.

Following with a really outstanding estimated $26.9 million in its third weekend, “The Hangover” dismissed it’s newer male-appeal comedy competition, “Year One,” which came in only at the #4 spot, but nevertheless managed $20.2 million in its first week. Ms. Finke described the hunter-gatherers-go-biblical film’s performance as “disappointing,” but The Hollywood Reporter deemed it “solid,” perhaps reflecting theĀ  budget. In any case, it surely reflects that a perception of poor quality caused by bad reviews (as discussed on Thursday’s pre-weekend post) and perhaps more or less matching word-of-mouth might actually have some impact on a film’s performance.

Up” did its bit for the power of family entertainment, remaining aloft at the #3 spot for yet another week with $21.3 million, say the estimators, and is within a hair’s breadth of the $225 million mark for its entire run.

Happy Father’s Day.


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