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The Other Guys Box Office: Second-Biggest Will Ferrell Opening Ever?

The Other Guys Will Ferrell Mark WahlbergThe Other Guys with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg: Healthy box office debut in the domestic market. But healthy enough?
  • The Other Guys box office: Starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, Adam McKay’s action comedy had a solid domestic debut – but not solid enough in relation to its steep production budget.

The Other Guys box office: Will Ferrell has the second-biggest domestic debut of his career – as long as you choose to ignore inflation

Aug. 6–8 weekend box office: Sony Pictures’ Adam McKay-directed action comedy The Other Guys, starring Will Ferrell and Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, 2006), landed on the top spot at the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office, thus dethroning the Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster Inception, which had been the no. 1 domestic title for three weekends.

According to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com, this past weekend The Other Guys grossed $35.5 million from 3,651 theaters. That officially marks Will Ferrell’s second-biggest debut ever, trailing only the Ferrell-McKay sports comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which took in $47 million in August 2006.

Adjusted for inflation, however, The Other Guys’ opening weekend is also behind those of Blades of Glory ($33 million in 2007; adjusted: approx. $37.8 million), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy ($28.4 million in 2004; adjusted: approx. $36.1 million), and Elf (an estimated $32.1 million in 2003; adjusted: approx. $42 million).

On the brighter side, The Other Guys is ahead of two 2008 Will Ferrell comedies: The McKay-directed domestic hit Step Brothers and the basketball-centered dud Semi-Pro.

Flipping back to the dark side: The Other Guys was reportedly budgeted at $100 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses). It’ll be all but impossible for the action comedy to recover its budget in the U.S. and Canada, while it’ll face an uphill climb internationally, as neither Will Ferrell nor Mark Wahlberg are significant box office draws overseas.

Mark Wahlberg’s biggest domestic debut in nearly a decade

Will Ferrell isn’t the only one for whom The Other Guys marks a box office upturn.

Mark Wahlberg’s two strongest domestic openers are Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes ($68.5 million in late July 2001) and Wolfgang Petersen’s The Perfect Storm ($41.3 million in late June 2000).

In the last nine years, besides The Other Guys the only other Wahlberg movie* to earn more than $30 million on its debut weekend – even after adjusting for inflation – was M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening ($30.5 million in June 2008). Poor reviews/word of mouth, however, sank that one rather rapidly; its total domestic take was a mere $64.5 million.

* Martin Scorsese’s The Departed opened with $26.9 million – or an adjusted $32.4 million – in 2006, but the crime drama is a Leonardo DiCaprio-Matt Damon vehicle; Mark Wahlberg is seen a relatively small supporting role.

Strong worldwide total not enough to offset pricy budget

Update: The Other Guys ultimately collected $119.2 million domestically and a far more modest $51.2 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $170.4 million – hardly enough to cover its steep production cost at the box office alone.

Its top two international markets – as often happens when it comes to Hollywood comedies – were two Anglophone territories, the United Kingdom/Ireland ($12.5 million) and Australia ($10.2 million). Next in line were Germany ($5.1 million), France ($5 million), and Russia/CIS ($3.3 million).


The Other Guys Box Office” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “The Other Guys Box Office: Second-Biggest Will Ferrell Opening Ever?” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should usually be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources.

Comments about The Other Guys 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, international 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 can be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is 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.

Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.

Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell The Other Guys movie image: Sony Pictures.

The Other Guys Box Office: Second-Biggest Will Ferrell Opening Ever?” last updated in August 2022.

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