I’m in San Francisco, my box-office guy hasn’t called, my iPhone is hiding out in the car so I’m going with Steve Mason‘s Fantasy Mogul weekend estimates. I don’t know anyone who gives two shits about The Forbidden Kingdom, but the martial arts pic that costars (as opposed to toplines) Jackie Chan and Jet Li has elbowed Forgetting Sarah Marshall aside and taken the weekend’s first-place trophy. The chopsocky will take in an estimated $19 million vs. $18 million for Judd Apatow‘s emotionally naked galumph relationship comedy that whatsisname…you know, uhm, Nicholas Stoller directed.
Box-Office Mojo reports that The Forbidden Kingdom is playing at 3,151 locations, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is on approximately 3,400 screens at 2,798 theaters, the Al Pacino turkey 88 Minutes is playing on 2,400 screens at 2,168 sites, and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed enters 1,052 venues.
Mason is reporting a mild case of Apatow fatigue and an “Apa-thetic” audience response to Forgetting Sarah Marshall in view of its $18 million earnings being the eighth-best Apatow opening tally (the first seven being Talladega Nights, Superbad, Knocked Up, Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Kicking and Screaming and The Cable Guy). Mason is being too rough on the guy. I predicted a few weeks ago that Marshall would be a good enough-er and a maintainer of the brand, and it seems to be doing that.