Box Office Report: ‘This is 40′ so-so, ‘Guilt Trip’ Bombing

Saturday, December 22, 2012
By Kevin Crossman
This is 40

This is 40

According to box office estimates, This is 40 opened with less than $4 million on open day and is heading for an opening weekend in the $12 million range. Given the huge box office opportunities next week, the jury is still out on whether the film is a hit or a bomb, though the soft opening is not a plus. Worse, the film received a weak B- CinemaScore according to Deadline. The film has met with a leaning-positive but certainly not overly enthusiastic reaction from critics. The “not bad” will serve the film well compared to the other family-oriented comedies such as Parental Guidance that opens on Tuesday and will most-definitely have worse reviews.

Another one of those family comedies is The Guilt Trip, which opened on Wednesday to very soft numbers. The weekend estimates are even worse, with the film heading for about a $4.5 million weekend. The Seth Rogen / Barbra Streisand road-trip comedy has not gained good reviews, though we liked it and Ain’t It Cool News also gave it an appreciative review. Even with a small $40 million budget, this film needs a big second week to not finish under water.

The expectation is that these older-skewing comedies will play better next week since many are busy finalizing their holiday plans or getting those last-minute gifts. Personally, I’m in a pickle this weekend myself and might not catch This is 40 until after Christmas.

Have you seen either of these films? Are you planning to? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

7 Responses to “Box Office Report: ‘This is 40′ so-so, ‘Guilt Trip’ Bombing”

  1. Chris

    I think this is Apatow’s first big miss step. His films are becoming way too long and his last two concepts don’t appeal much to big audiences. I believe Knocked Up is his best film thus far and his last two films seem almost out of touch with society. As much as I want to see This is 40, how is the audience suppose to connect with these characters when they are white upper middle class? Its hard to get sympathy or feel empathy towards them.

    The Guilt Trip has been getting real poor reviews and the audience isn’t responding either. Which is sad because when was the last time Seth Rogen had a hit? I make the argument that Pineapple Express was his last big box office draw. I absolutely loved 50/50, but his last few movies have failed to bring much money in. I think This Is The End is definitely going to change that though.

  2. Rick

    To mirror what Chris said, I think a big problem with Apatow’s directorial efforts is the Leslie + the kids presence in 3 films now is becoming stale. I haven’t seen This is 40, so can’t judge it exactly, but I think if his family hadn’t been a major arc in Funny People, This is 40 wouldn’t seem as familiar.

  3. Benjamin

    The thing for me is that the major reason I like Apatow films is for the supporting roles and from the cast list that seems awesome. Can’t wait to see this movie and I love the universes Apatow creates. Also with Guilt Trip I’ve seen like nothing in terms of advertising so I’m surprised it’ll tank.

  4. Kevin Crossman

    I am looking forward to This is 40 but agree Apatow needs to do something entirely different and hopefully more “wacky” concept comedy. Running time is becoming an issue for some audience members, as some of you have noted.

    I’d argue that Green Hornet was a good enough to count as a “hit” for Rogen. That was a tough sell without the kind of built-in audience that other Superhero franchises have.

  5. Chris

    Yeah Green Hornet was technically a hit, but the budget was like 120 million and it didn’t even make 100 million in the US. Plus that film was panned by critics. And remember it was moved to so many different release dates. I ended up with more than 200 million world-wide, but most of this is due to the built-in Superhero audience.

    Looking at Rogen’s recent comedies it’s not too great.

    50/50 - 35 million,
    Paul - 37 million,
    The Green Hornet - 98 million*
    Funny People - 51 million
    Observe and Report - 24 million
    Zack and Miri Make a Porno - 31 million
    Pineapple Express - 87 million

    It really sucks, Rogen doesn’t appear to be the huge draw anymore that he was with Knocked Up and Superbad. I’m hoping This is the End helps. Rogen, to me, works the best when he has someone great to play off of (Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, James Franco). I’d love to see Rogen and Rudd team up again. We haven’t seen them really together since Knocked Up. I’d love to see a buddy-comedy with them two. Then again, Rudd hasn’t been drawing the crowds that much either.

  6. Rick

    Rogen’s number speak for themselves. Although Zack & Miri wasn’t a hit, it was in the R-Rated comedy zone he built his audience in. Since then, Seth has taken a left turn away from the formula that worked. And its exactly why the trailer for This is the End is such a hit: it brings back the glory days of 4 to 5 years ago, the energy of Pineapple/Knocked Up/Superbad. Although Seth may not want to pigeonhole his range, there is an audience to please.

    Rudd is starting to head into a similar problem. After Role Models/I Love You Man, there was a push to establish him as a romantic comedy leading man. He built his $70 million box office range (so did Jason Segel), but once you pull out the supporting cast of comedians or a buddy, the returns diminished (see: Wanderlust, Five Year Engagement.)

    And when you get the formula right, with a razor sharp script, great cast and huge laughs, the box office stars should line up (as Jonah figured out with 21 Jump Street… not exactly a huge leap from Superbad, Get Him to the Greek, etc.)

  7. ASFan

    I don’t know if Apatow wants to get back to films like 40YOV or KU. He said he wants to be like Cameron Crowe or James L. Brooks, both of whom have had missteps of late.

    I don’t necessarily mind the particular route of being more close to real life. One of the problems, though, aside from the long runtimes, is that he’s creating characters that are constantly angry and fighting with each other. Then again, real life isn’t all sunshine and daisies.

    So yeah, perhaps it would be better for him to go back to his directorial roots.


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