Entertainment behind the scenes
“Tropic Thunder” scares up $6.5 mln at Wed. box office
Batman movie “The Dark Knight” has been a box office behemoth with four straight weekends atop ticket sales charts, but some industry watchers expect the new comedy adventure “Tropic Thunder“ could knock it off its No. 1 perch this weekend.
“Tropic Thunder,” which stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr., opened in theaters on Wednesday with a healthy $6.5 million for the one night, slightly above expectations, said the DreamWorks movie studio which is behind the movie.
That was about half the $12.15 million first-day total of stoner comedy “Pineapple Express” last Wednesday, and ”Express” failed to beat ”Dark Knight” this past weekend when ticket sales were tallied. “Express” had $23 million for the weekend to $26 million for “Dark Knight.”
With a 44 percent drop – which is the average decline over the past few weeks for “Dark Knight” – it should have weekend ticket sales in the mid-teens, which is below the $20 million that DreamWorks expects from “Tropic Thunder” this weekend.
“Friday and Saturday I think are going to be big days for (“Tropic Thunder”), and it may have a shot at knocking out ‘Dark Knight’ from number one,” said Paul Dergarabedian, head of box office tracker Media By Numbers.
As of Wednesday, “The Dark Knight” had taken in nearly $452 million in the United States and Canada, according to the Web site for Box Office Mojo. It has ruled the box office every weekend since it opened on July 18.
As an R-rated movie, “Tropic Thunder” has been difficult to advertise on TV because the most outrageous parts of the movie cannot be shown to all audiences. DreamWorks hopes the midweek opening can help overcome that difficulty.
“The great word of mouth from the Wednesday and Thursday opening will push people to see the movie this weekend,” said Chip Sullivan, a spokesman for DreamWorks.