People will watch TV in movie theaters.
That’s what we learn today as “Date Night,” featuring TV stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey, had a huge Friday night. The Fox comedy took in $9.3 million according to boxofficemojo.com, and could reap a $28 million weekend.
Considering that the tepid comedy cost $55 million or so, “Date Night” will earn out nicely. Expect sequels as the studio milks Carell and Fey’s chemistry over and over.
The success of “Date Night” is also good for The Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am. Profiled on Friday in the Wall Street Journal as the most commercial pop star on the scene, the savvy marketer is also featured in “Date Night.” He plays himself, and gets several shout outs concerning his name. It’s a huge product placement. Ironically, the Journal story didn’t mention the “Date Night” connection, even though the paper and studio share an owner.
It’s also good for “Big Love” HBO star Jeanne Tripplehorn, who gets the best shout out of her career in the film as well.
Universal must be kicking itself since Carell and Fey’s shows air on NBC Universal and their film is with Fox. But the movie’s success can only be good for the TV shows. And, with the unlikeliness of sitcom star Kevin James going into movies, there’s more than ever a movie audience of TV watchers. Maybe the next “Date Night” will be in 3D!!