- Hall Pass movie box office: Directed by the Farrelly brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary), the critically derided comedy managed to top the domestic chart and be a major commercial dud at the same time. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis star.
- This past Oscar weekend, Oscar movies were nearly absent from the Top Ten chart.
Hall Pass movie box office: The Farrelly brothers’ latest comedy topped Oscar weekend, but it’s a flop all the same
Feb. 25–27 (Oscar) weekend box office: Although Sunday estimates had the Walt Disney Studios’ computer-animated Gnomeo & Juliet as the top movie at the semi-comatose North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office, the actual no. 1 title was Bobby and Peter Farrelly’s lowbrow comedy Hall Pass, which grossed $13.5 million from 2,950 theaters according to final figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
For comparison’s sake: Directed by the Farrelly brothers, and starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, New Line Cinema’s Dumb and Dumber opened with $16.4 million (around $30 million in 2011) from 2,447 locations in mid-December 1994, ending its run with $127.2 million domestically and an estimated $120.1 million internationally. Worldwide total: $247.3 million. Budget: $17 million.
Here’s another comparison: Also directed by the Farrelly brothers, and starring Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, and Ben Stiller, 20th Century Fox’s There’s Something About Mary opened with $13.7 million (around $23 million in 2011) from 2,186 locations in mid-July 1998, ending its run with $176.5 million domestically and an estimated $193.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: $369.9 million. Budget: $23 million.
No Dumb and Dumber or There’s Something About Mary
Hall Pass, which happens to be a critical dud, was budgeted at a reported $36 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).
I insist that stupidity sells – even (especially?) on Oscar weekend. And yet, unlike the wildly successful Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, the Farrelly brothers’ latest will find it all but impossible to as much as recover its relatively modest production cost in the domestic market.
The story of two men who are given a “hall pass” by their wives so they can – for one week – have sex with other women, Hall Pass features Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Joy Behar, Nicky Whelan, Bruce Thomas, Alexandra Daddario, Alyssa Milano, Derek Waters, Kristin Carey, Tyler Hoechlin, Stephen Merchant, and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, 2008).
Update: The Farrelly brothers’ Hall Pass ultimately collected a mediocre $45.1 million domestically and $41.1 million internationally. Worldwide total: $86.2 million, leaving the comedy in the red at the box office.
Its top international markets were Australia ($7.6 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($5.2 million), France ($3.6 million), Germany ($3.2 million), and Russia/CIS ($3.2 million).
Top Five movies: Disney’s computer-animated romantic comedy-fantasy still going strong
Trailing Hall Pass on Oscar weekend’s domestic box office chart were the following:
- At a close no. 2, Kelly Asbury’s aforementioned Gnomeo & Juliet, once again proving that it has sturdy legs, grossed $13.4 million (down a relatively modest 30 percent on its third weekend). Cume: $74.3 million. Voice cast: James McAvoy and Emily Blunt.
- At no. 3, Jaume Collet-Serra’s mystery thriller Unknown grossed $12.6 million (down 43 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $43 million. Cast: Liam Neeson, January Jones, and Diane Kruger.
- Appropriately at no. 4, D.J. Caruso’s sci-fi thriller I Am Number Four grossed $11 million (also down 43 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $37.7 million. Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, and Teresa Palmer.
- At no. 5, Dennis Dugan’s farce Just Go with It grossed $10.5 million (also down 43 percent on its third weekend). Cume: $78.8 million. Cast: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, and Brooklyn Decker.
Only two Oscar movies among the Top Ten
But wait! This was Oscar Weekend. Were domestic moviegoers interested in watching only critically lambasted fare and kiddie flicks?
Well, scroll down all the way to no. 8, right below the critically crucified Martin Lawrence comedy Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. That’s where you’ll find the first Oscar movie on the chart: Tom Hooper’s now Best Picture winner The King’s Speech, which drew in $7.3 million (up 12 percent on its fourteenth weekend).
Released by The Weinstein Company, the historicalish drama stars Best Actor winner Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter, in addition to Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Gambon, and veteran Claire Bloom (Limelight, The Haunting).
And at no. 10 you’ll find Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western True Grit with $1.9 million (down 19 percent on its 10th weekend). Jeff Bridges (in John Wayne’s old Oscar-winning role) stars alongside Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld in this sleeper domestic hit, now notable for having received 10 Oscar nominations without ultimately topping a single category.
”Hall Pass Movie Box Office: Farrelly Brothers” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Hall Pass Movie Box Office: Farrelly Brothers’ Critically Panned Comedy Tops Oscar Weekend” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Hall Pass, The King’s Speech, True Grit, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis Hall Pass movie image: Peter Iovino | Warner Bros.
Gnomeo & Juliet image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
“Hall Pass Movie Box Office: Farrelly Brothers’ Critically Panned Comedy Tops Oscar Weekend” last updated in December 2022.