Though moviegoers were almost single minded in their pursuit of ”Me, Myself & Irene” this weekend, box office results for the split-personality comedy were not quite as big as studio execs might have hoped. The long awaited Jim Carrey-Farrelly brothers reunion film took the No. 1 spot with a healthy $24.1 million, but those figures are not nearly as mind-blowing as Carrey’s openings of $31.5 million for 1998’s ”The Truman Show” and $37.8 million for 1995’s ”Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.”
True, the Farrellys’ previous effort, 1998’s ”There’s Something About Mary,” opened at No. 4 with only a $13.7 million take, then climbed to the No. 1 spot in its eighth week. But the word of mouth that helped that flick isn’t likely to rescue the brothers from a slump next weekend, especially considering the competition. The Fourth of July will see three major debuts — ”The Patriot,” ”The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” and ”The Perfect Storm” — which will all battle for their share of the holiday fireworks.
Blockbuster dramas may be on their way, but comedies ruled the box office this weekend. The critically lauded ”Chicken Run” came in at No. 2 with $17.5 million — the best opening yet for a DreamWorks animated film. Even the critically maligned comedy ”Big Momma’s House” held its own, scoring $8.7 million for fifth place and bringing its three-week total to a hefty $85.4 million. Meanwhile, the Samuel L. Jackson action flick ”Shaft” dropped to No. 3 with a take of $13.3 million, and Jerry Bruckheimer’s ”Gone in 60 Seconds” idled in fourth with $9.5 million.
CRITICAL MASS ”Chicken Run” may have been No. 2 at the box office, but it was first in the hearts of EW Online voters. Readers graded the claymation comedy an A-, while marking ”Me, Myself & Irene” a mere B-. The critics, meanwhile, were not quite as amused with ”Chicken,” granting the DreamWorks film an average grade of B, but they did concur with readers’ views on Jim Carrey’s latest, which they also scored a B-.
Maybe the Carrey-Farrellys reunion just wasn’t as hilarious as moviegoers and critics had hoped. Some 29 percent of voters said ”Irene” was, in fact, worse than they expected, while only 5 percent of readers were disappointed by ”Chicken Run.” Word of mouth is likely to give wings to the DreamWorks hit this holiday weekend, while ”Irene” looks like it may be grounded for good. Some 70 percent of voters said they would definitely recommend ”Chicken” to friends, while less than half said they would tell others to see ”Irene.” Maybe the Farrellys should turn their talents to PlayDough.
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