Get Smart

Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures

The Incredible Hulk wasn't exactly Hulk, which was good. The Love Guru was vaguely Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, which wasn't.

And Get Smart, which was absolutely not The Nude Bomb, was No. 1.

The weekend box office did not lack for storylines or dollars, with the Steve Carell spy comedy leading the way with $39.2 million, according to Exhibitor Relations estimates today.

Get Smart's three-day take was nearly three times what the first big-screen crack at the sitcom classic grossed during its entire run. Not that taking out the bomb that was the 1980s The Nude Bomb, which starred original Agent 86 Don Adams, was either the plan or an accomplishment.

More to the point, Get Smart goes down as the biggest opener of Carell's still fledgling leading-man career, and helps mitigate the disappointment of his last live-action comedy, Evan Almighty.

Elsewhere, The Incredible Hulk, last weekend's No. 1, fell to third with $21.6 million. But it retained bragging rights over Ang Lee's Hulk by falling "only" 61 percent in its second weekend, rather than the 70 percent plunge suffered by the 2003 film.

As for The Love Guru: It settled for fourth place and $14 million, two stats unbecoming a film that was promoted far and wide—and uncomfortably on the season finale of American Idol.

For star Mike Myers, the debut wasn't far off from the modest $9 million that his first Austin Powers grossed in its opening weekend. Eleven years ago. Before the spoof franchise took off on home video. Before Myers took off as a comedy brand name.

On the upside of a disappointing weekend, The Love Guru did outgross Get Smart, Again! Which was actually a TV movie. And therefore didn't gross anything.

In any case, it should definitely surpass The Nude Bomb any day now. Which really wasn't the plan. And honestly won't be an accomplishment.

Drilling down through the standings:

  • Fact No. 1: In The Incredible Hulk's first weekend, 82 percent of the audience was comprised of people who'd seen Ang Lee's Hulk. Fact No. 2: After two weekends, the two films have nearly identical cumulative grosses, with Lee's holding the slight edge, $100.6 million to $96.5 million. Possible conclusion: There are only so many Hulk fans to go around. For all the drubbing that Lee's Hulk took over its box office performance, The Incredible Hulk is doing almost exactly the same, except it's doing it slightly smaller.
  • Kung Fu Panda has strong, stubby legs. In its third weekend, the CGI comedy was only down 35 percent from the previous weekend. It held on to second place with $21.7 million, bringing its overall take to $155.6 million.
  • In its second weekend, M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening (fifth place, $10 million; $50.3 million overall) suffered a Hulk-like fall, with ticket sales down 67 percent.
  • Iron Man (ninth place, $4 million), indeed. The comic book movie passed the $300 million mark overall. It currently stands at $304.8 million.
  • Tween girls do not live by Camp Rock alone. Those with access to Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, the new Abigail Breslin movie based on the popular doll line, helped it to a huge little opening weekend. Debuting at five theaters, the film grossed $222,697 for a per-screen average of $44,539. (Get Smart, by comparison, made $10,012 off each of its screens.)
  • Prince Caspian ought to write Speed Racer a thank-you note for serving as the pre-Love Guru poster man for summer disappointments. Were it not for Speed Racer's spectacular crash at the box office, more attention might be paid to the washout that has been the Chronicles of Narnia sequel. In its sixth weekend, the $200 million movie grossed $1.7 million, fell out of the Top 10 and stood at $135.5 million overall.
  • In its sixth weekend, per Box Office Mojo stats, the first Narnia movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, finished fourth, grossed $10.1 million and stood at $261.3 million overall.

Here's a recap of the top-grossing weekend films, based on Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

  1. Get Smart, $39.2 million
  2. Kung Fu Panda, $21.7 million
  3. The Incredible Hulk, $21.6 million
  4. The Love Guru, $14 million
  5. The Happening, $10 million
  6. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, $8.4 million
  7. You Don't Mess With the Zohan, $7.2 million
  8. Sex and the City, $6.5 million
  9. Iron Man, $4 million
  10. The Strangers, $1.9 million
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