'Date Night' is expected to challenge 'Titans' at box office

Ben Fritz
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

LOS ANGELES — "Clash of the Titans" could be toppled on its second weekend by a couple of TV comedy stars out on the town.

"Date Night," which stars Steve Carell of "The Office" and Tina Fey of "30 Rock" as a bored married couple who find more excitement than they were looking for on a night out, opens Friday and should sell $20 million to $25 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada by Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience polling.

That would be a decent start given the movie's $55 million production budget, particularly if audience buzz is strong. Reviews so far have been a bit more positive than negative.

The romantic comedy from 20th Century Fox and financing partner Dune Entertainment is generating solid interest among all demographic groups except young men. Its debut will probably be similar to that of the Matthew McConaughey-Sarah Jessica Parker comedy "Failure to Launch," which opened to $24.4 million in March 2006.

Carell's previous two romantic comedies, "Dan in Real Life" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," had very different openings — $11.8 million in 2007 and $21.4 million in 2005, respectively. Fey's "Baby Mama" opened to $17.4 million in 2008.

"Date Night" is the only picture opening nationwide this week.

"Clash of the Titans," meanwhile, could take a big tumble after its healthy $61.2 million debut. The movie's sizable 18 percent drop in ticket sales from last Friday to Saturday and an average audience grade of B both indicate that word-of-mouth was mixed. In addition, more students were out of school on last week's Good Friday holiday than will be this Friday.

As a result, Warner Bros.' and Legendary Pictures' "Titans" could easily see its weekend gross drop 60 percent this weekend, which would put it at about $24 million and in close competition with "Date Night" for the top spot at the box office.

DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" will probably be a close third at about $20 million if it experiences another modest decline after falling just 34 percent on its second weekend.

"Why Did I Get Married Too" had virtually the same gross as "Dragon" last weekend but will probably fall more than 50 percent from its strong $29 million debut. Other recent films from writer/director Tyler Perry have dropped about 60 percent on their second weekends as their audiences didn't grow significantly beyond the core fans who came within the first few days.





12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.


Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

By the Book

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.


Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold Celebrate New Album With Performance Video (premiere)

Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) and Ingunn Ringvold share a 20-minute performance video that highlights their new album, Magdalen Accepts the Invitation. "This was an opportunity to perform the new songs and pretend in a way that we were still going on tour because we had been so looking forward to that."


David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.


On Their 2003 Self-Titled Album, Buzzcocks Donned a Harder Sound and Wore it With Style and Taste

Buzzcocks, the band's fourth album since their return to touring in 1989, changed their sound but retained what made them great in the first place

Reading Pandemics

Chaucer's Plague Tales

In 18 months, the "Great Pestilence" of 1348-49 killed half of England's population, and by 1351 half the population of the world. Chaucer's plague tales reveal the conservative edges of an astonishingly innovative medieval poet.


Country's Jaime Wyatt Gets in Touch With Herself on 'Neon Cross'

Neon Cross is country artist Jaime Wyatt's way of getting in touch with all the emotions she's been going through. But more specifically, it's about accepting both the past and the present and moving on with pride.


Counterbalance 17: Public Enemy - 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back'

Hip-hop makes its debut on the Big List with Public Enemy’s meaty, beaty manifesto, and all the jealous punks can’t stop the dunk. Counterbalance’s Klinger and Mendelsohn give it a listen.


Sondre Lerche and the Art of Radical Sincerity

"It feels strange to say it", says Norwegian pop artist Sondre Lerche about his ninth studio album, "but this is the perfect time for Patience. I wanted this to be something meaningful in the middle of all that's going on."


How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.


From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.