Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Box Office Calamity: No Magic as “Burt Wonderstone” Crashes with Carrell-Carey-Arkin-Gandolfini

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SUNDAY UPDATE: Worse news than was thought: “Burt Wonderstone” comes in at $10.3 million for the weekend.

Earlier: This has not been a great winter for Warner Bros. This morning they’re waking up to their fourth box office disaster in a row. “The┬áIncredible Burt Wonderstone” — with real stars Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, and Oscar winner Alan Arkin. The movie looks like it will make a very meager $11-$12 million. The official budget is listed as $30 million, but of course, that’s highly unlikely given just that quartet. The cast also includes Olivia Wilde, Jay Mohr, and actual magician David Copperfield. “Wonderstone” also sports 11 producers, 4 writers, and 1 director–Don Scardino, a highly regarded television director and former actor.

“Burt Wonderstone” caps a long, bleak stretch that started with “Gangster Squad,” “Beautiful Creatures,” “Bullet to the Head,” and “Jack the Giant Slayer.” Every studio has its run of back luck. Warners is also coming off a mega success with “The Hobbit” and a Best Picture Oscar for the hit “Argo.” Last year “The Dark Knight Rises” was a monster success. And the studio is looking forward to a glittery opening for “The Great Gatsby” in May including the Cannes Film Festival premiere. Also about to be unleashed: “The Hangover Part III,” “Man of Steel,” a promising comedy called “We’re the Millers,” and “Gravity” with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

This film, though, is a puzzlement. Why it was allowed to butt up against “Oz the Great and Powerful,” another family film with magic that had “The Wizard of Oz” marketing edge? And the mixed to poor reviews didn’t help. Neither did the very tacky looking posters. Oh well. This, too, shall pass.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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