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In what is shaping up to be the first big upset at the summer movie box office, the R-rated comedy The Hangover is currently in first place for the weekend, besting Disney's strong, kid-friendly Up and the Will Ferrell comedy Land of the Lost. This according to Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood:
Some of the fun of summer box office reporting is that, every now and then, a sleeper comes out of nowhere and captures the No. 1 film crown during a weekend. "I guess there's no reason to do this if sometimes crazy things don't happen," marveled one rival studio exec last night. Because early domestic box office numbers from Friday show that Warner Bros' well reviewed Bachelor Party-gone-wrong comedy The Hangover opened for at least $16.5M from 3,269 theaters for probably close to a $50M weekend. That's without stars, too. Instead, credit a hot R-rated high concept (directed by Old School helmer Todd Phillips) and marketing plan.
Moe surprising is that Land of the Lost looks to be a bomb, on pace for $20 million against a reported cost of $100 million. This puts added pressure on Ferrell's August 14 release, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. If that one tanks too, there will be grumbling that the comedian has lost his appeal.