Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Brad Pitt Scores Biggest Opening Weekend Ever with “World War Z”

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UPDATE SUNDAY MORNING 10:55AM: The weekend total looks like it will be somewhere between $65mil and $68mil, which is just amazing considering what struggles this movie had. But word of mouth must have been great, and deservedly so.

UPDATE SATURDAY 1:11AM-– “World War Z,” according to estimates, made $25 million on Friday, and is headed to a $57 million or better weekend. This is a major win for Pitt, director Marc Forster and Paramount after reshooting a quarter of the film, and getting a lot of grief in the process. But the movie is a hit, critically and financially. Rest assured there will be a sequel. Brad has worked tirelessly for the last two weeks promoting “WWZ” everywhere except Mars. And it’s paid off.

Friday night 9;50PM Eastern: Brad Pitt is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, but he’s never been associated with boffo box office. That may change this weekend. Pitt is eying his biggest opening weekend since “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in 2005 with “World War Z.” If the new movie goes over $50.4 million by Sunday night, it will be his biggest opening weekend ever. Right now, fueled by good reviews and strong word of mouth, “WWZ” looks very promising. Keep refreshing for updates…

Interesting: Pitt has never made a movie that could be considered a franchise-launcher. Only the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies fit that bill, and he was part of a large ensemble. His choice of roles has been extremely electic. The result is two Oscar nominations, for “Twelve Monkeys” and more recently “Moneyball.” He takes character roles a lot, and specializes in off beat comedy– thinking “Burn After Reading” and “Inglorious Basterds.”

Even though Brad is considered a sex symbol, his best roles rarely involve romance. His “big” movies have been gambles like “Jesse James” or “Benjamin Button.” There are no light romantic comedies with Brad Pitt playing the befuddled boyfriend. “Devil’s Own” and “Sleepers” were deep. “Snatch” and “Fight Club” were heavy. “Tree of Life” was experimental.  The one time he really went light, with Julia Roberts in “The Mexican,” it didn’t work out.

So stay tuned. “WWZ” looks like it will be cause for celebration.

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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