The Reject Report

Well, it was Sarah Marshall who got dumped this weekend at the box office. Or better yet, it was Judd Apatow who got dumped — not by Sarah Marshall, but by the moviegoing public, AGAIN. It was The Forbidden Kingdom that won at the box office this weekend, confounding so-called “experts” like myself who had picked Forgetting Sarah Marshall to take the top spot. The much-ballyhooed Jet Li-Jackie Chan pairup was a big hit at the theaters. Those two brought in $20 million, a bit more than I predicted, while Sarah Marshall only pulled in only $17 million.

Kristen Bell in Forgetting Sarah MarshallSo instead of this being the movie that puts the Judd Apatow franchise back on track, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is now the third flop in a row for him, after both Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Drillbit Taylor tanked. What has to worry Apatow is that this particular flick was not some complete dud movie. In fact, Rotten Tomatoes rates Sarah Marshall at 86%!!! From what I gather, though, tracking for the movie was not as strong as expected. Maybe the audience was grossed out by the nudity and the jokes. Could be: this is America, after all, land of puritanism. But that can’t be the entire story, because this same public made hits out of Superbad and Knocked Up, and The 40 Year Old Virgin and these other flicks. Maybe people are simply tired of Judd Apatow movies, or maybe it’s a case of too much success too soon.

Anyway, the bottom line is it’s three flops in a row now, and Apatow’s movie producing career is threatening to go the way of his long-deceased TV career (Undeclared, Freaks and Geeks) if this keeps up. He really does need to make another Anchorman movie to get things back on track, box-office wise. And soon.

88 Minutes, that Al Pacino flick, made $ 6.8 million, and the other new release Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed snuck into the top ten at $3.1 million; that’s the controversial satirical documentary starring Ben Stein about how “big science” has expelled intelligent ideas from the classroom. That movie did better than a lot of people expected.

Here is a look at the weekend box office:

1. The Forbidden Kingdom $20.9 million
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall $17.3 million
3. Prom Night $9.1 million
4. 88 Minutes $6.8 million
5. Nim’s Island $5.7 million
6. 21 $5.5 million
7. Street Kings $4 million
8. Horton Hears a Who $3.5 million
9. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed $3.2 million
10. Leatherheads $3 million

Incidentally, Horton is now up to $144,407,000 in domestic gross. To this point it is the biggest hit of the year 2008. But that may not be the case for too much longer. Iron Man! Speed Racer!

Well, that’s all for now. Be sure to catch us later this week as the Reject Report Escapes from Guantanamo Bay. Until then, don’t bet on the movies — especially not after this weekend.


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