‘Tower Heist’ Adds to 2011 Box Office Woes for Frat Pack

Sunday, November 6, 2011
By Kevin Crossman
Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist

Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist

It’s hardly a bomb, but box office estimates are placing the first weekend North American take for Tower Heist at $25 million, at least $5 less than the bottom of most expectations. The Ben Stiller / Eddie Murphy film was expected to open north of $30 million, and based on the all-star cast and track record from director Brett Ratner, the first weekend box office is a big disappointment. ┬áThe box office for the PG-13 comedy was likely squeezed by a strong hold from family toon Puss in Boots (#1 at $33m in second week) and R-rated Harold and Kumar (#3 with $13m).

Studio expectations were certainly high for the film, which many said showed a return to form for Murphy. In fact, the notoriously prickly actor did much more press for this film and was quite open about trying to move away from family fare.

The film is yet another box office disappointment for the core members of the Frat Pack, following anemic box office for Vince Vaughn in The Dilemma and for Owen Wilson’s mainstream comedies Hall Pass and The Big Year (the latter with Jack Black). Wilson did score well with Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, however (over $125m global gross to date). Ironically, a number of R-rated comedies have done extraordinary business this year, but audiences have shunned the projects from old “old guard” Frat Pack. Close contributor Danny McBride hasn’t done well at the box office this year either.

There’s always a chance that Tower Heist will have a strong hold and perform well between now and Christmas. But the opening weekend does not bode well. With a budget north of $80 million, it’ll take a while to recoup the studio’s money.

One Response to “‘Tower Heist’ Adds to 2011 Box Office Woes for Frat Pack”

  1. pru

    I saw it last night. Not great, not terrible, just alright.


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