‘Year One’ debuts at #4 for the Weekend

Sunday, June 21, 2009
By Rick Duran
Michael Cera and Jack Black

Michael Cera and Jack Black

The studio can say Year One met its opening weekend expectations, but it is what it is: a #4 opening, behind two movies in their 3rd and 4th weekends of release. The Jack Black/Michael Cera biblical farce wasn’t expected to open higher than low 20s, but the $19.6 million is a rather low figure for a high profile summer opening. The film opened around $1 million more than the disastrous Land of the Lost opening two weeks ago.  Year One also cost $40 million less than this year’s Will Ferrell flop and should find a domestic gross similar to I Love You, Man and Role Models near $65-70 million.

Part of Year One’s low-end opening can be attributed to a crowded comedy field: by-the-numbers rom-com The Proposal had a huge opening weekend with $33.6 million, while the impressive runs of The Hangover and Up the number 2 and 3 slots with $26.7 million and $23.5 million.   Toss in Night at the Musuem at number 7 ($7.8 million) and Land of the Lost at number 8 ($4.3 million) and you’ve got the most comedy-heavy release schedule in years.

Still, you’ve got to wonder about the box office opening potential of Jack Black. Year One lands squarely in the middle of his leading role openers between his biggest (Nacho Libre with $35 million) and worst (Tenacious D with $3.2 million.) Here’s hoping he can power next year’s high profile Gulliver’s Travels to the higher end of his track record.

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