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Box Office Breakdown:  Chuck and Larry Outmuscle Harry

ChuckandLarry

Lord Voldemort should be kicking himself.  Wizardry, schmizardry.  All he needed was a bag of outdated gay jokes to bring young Harry down.

Wedding planners everywhere had expected 7/7/07 to be the biggest wedding day of the year, but it was 7/20/07 that proved to be eventful for comedians Adam Sandler and Kevin James.  Their domestic partnership brought in enough guests to outdo Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, though they only gained $2 million more than the Potter juggernaut.  Fan support for Sandler movies has always been strong—which is why I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is his ninth movie to open at #1.

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Box Office Breakdown:  Competition Schooled By Hogwarts

Harry Potter

Apparently Daniel Radcliffe can bring in the audiences without having to strip…unless that’s what the female theatergoers were secretly hoping for.

Whatever the reason, a record number of voyeurs helped the Hogwarts clan whip up the biggest 5-day total for a non-holiday release.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’s $140 million beat out Shrek 2’s record set in 2004 ($128 million).  The film is now on track to be the largest Potter installment to date.

As for why the producers of Captivity chose to open amongst all the recent family-fare is beyond me.  And yes, I know that’s why they call it counter-programming.  Ironically, while I would have loved to watch Elisha Cuthbert’s character from 24 (the oh-so annoying Kim) be subjected to torture-porn, I really no desire to see her do anything these days.  Apparently I’m not alone….which is why the only other film widely-released this week opened in 12th place.  Now that’s torture.

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Box Office Breakdown: Optimus Is In His Prime

Transformers

We knew that a Michael Bay/ Steven Spielberg venture would be a hit—so what really is there left to say?  Well, did you know that this is Bay’s biggest opening since 2001’s awful Pearl Harbor ($59.1 million)??  Did you know that Shia LeBeouf is the first leading man (he just turned 21, so is a leading man) to have two movies reach the top spot this year?

Moving on…how about that awful showing for License to Wed?  Not that I predicted much for the film—but ouch.  Question is:  which Office actor fared worse in this summer’s box office?  Steve Carell who starred in an obscenely expensive Evan Almighty—a movie that at least managed #1 berth?  Or John Krasinski whose movie clearly looked like a bomb from the get-go but came with low expectations?  That may be something for Dwight Schrute to sort out…

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No Big Laughs for License To Wed

Many Moore Sometimes, Robin William’s sort of hyperactive, jittery comedy is funny and entertaining to watch. He’s always one of the highlights of HBO’s Comic Relief, a perfect venue for the comedian that always seems right on the verge of sanity. But these same sort of freaky antics do little to lift License To Wed from its chick-flick status, and some critics say that Williams fails to deliver in the role of a comedic priest. Gee, and here I thought a role as a man of the cloth would be perfect for Williams – what could be more Godlike than talking in funny voices and imitating slightly epileptic fits?

Williams plays nutty parish priest Reverend Frank, apparently Catholic-like as the head of St. Augustine’s. In the film, Reverend Frank turns the Ten Commandments into a game show (seriously, why didn’t Moses think of that?) and uses wiretapping to find out if couples are having premarital sex. The Reverend’s three-week Marriage Preparation Course is the particular delight of the Williams character, which he claims offers an 100% success rate for all soon-to-be-wed couples. Enter Sadie Jones, played by Mandy Moore and her finance Ben Murphy (played by John Krasinski).

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