Entertainment behind the scenes
“No” appears to be the resounding response when someone mentions the new movie “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” The interrogative fish-out-of-water comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, earned just $7 million at the weekend box office in North America, coming in at No. 4.
The good news is that few fans seemed to really noticed, because all eyes were on “Avatar,” which opened to $73 million. It was a savvy scheduling move by Columbia Pictures that just didn’t work out. If “Morgans” had done well, the studio could have hailed it as a bold counterprogramming move.
But no one had great hopes for ”Morgans,” with prognosticators forecasting a tally in the $10 million range. Critics panned it. The only positive notice among 16 top critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes came from the New York Times, whose review was hardly enthusiastic. Grant and Parker play a bickering couple relocated to the U.S. sticks (i.e. Wyoming) under the Federal Witness Protection Program. The film’s writer-director, Marc Lawrence, previously worked with Grant in “Music and Lyrics” and “Two Weeks Notice.”
Columbia said the film tended to appeal to older women, but Fox’s “Avatar” played surprisingly strongly to old folks (i.e. people older than 25) and women, as well. At least the film did better than a similar-skewing comedy-drama “Everybody’s Fine,” starring Robert De Niro, which opened to $3.9 million earlier this month and has earned $8.8 million to date. Next up for this quality-conscious demo is writer/director Nancy Meyers’ Christmas Day comedy “It’s Complicated,” starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.