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The Other Guys: Will Ferrell Has Second-Biggest Debut?

The Other Guys Will Ferrell Mark WahlbergThe Other Guys with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
  • The Other Guys box office: Starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, Adam McKay’s action comedy had a strong domestic debut – but not strong enough in relation to its steep production budget.
  • Step Up 3D box office: John M. Chu’s musical turned out to be a domestic disappointment while doing stellar business internationally.

Weekend box office: The Other Guys’ Will Ferrell has second-biggest domestic debut – as long as you ignore inflation

Aug. 6–8 weekend box office: Starring Will Ferrell and Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, 2006), Adam McKay’s action-comedy The Other Guys landed on the top spot at the U.S. and Canada box office, raking in a solid $35.5 million from 3,651 venues according to studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

The Christopher Nolan-Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster Inception had to settle for second place (with $18.5 million) after three weekends at no. 1.

Budgeted at a reported $100 million, The Other Guys 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 is also trailing the opening weekends of Blades of Glory (2007), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), and Elf (2003).

On the brighter side, The Other Guys is ahead of both the 2008 Ferrell-McKay comedy Step Brothers and Ferrell’s 2007 comedy dud Semi-Pro.

Mark Wahlberg’s biggest domestic debut in nearly a decade

Mark Wahlberg’s two best domestic openers were Planet of the Apes ($68.5 million in late July 2001) and The Perfect Storm ($41.3 million in late June 2000).

In the last nine years, the only other Wahlberg movie besides The Other Guys to earn more than $30 million on its debut weekend 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 only $64 million.

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.

Step Up 3D Rick Malambri Sharni VinsonStep Up 3D with Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson.

Step Up 3D lacks strength domestically, but outdoes previous entries internationally

Trailing The Other Guys and Inception was new entry Step Up 3D at no. 3. Directed by Jon M. Chu, and featuring Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson, the Walt Disney Studios/Summit Entertainment co-production scored a modest $15.8 million from 2,435 sites.

For comparison’s sake:

  • Directed by Anne Fletcher, and featuring Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, the original Step Up (2006) pulled in $20.7 million on its first weekend out; domestic cume: $65.3 million.
  • Directed by Jon M. Chu, and featuring Robert Hoffman and Briana Evigan, Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), brought in $25.5 million on its first four days (it opened on a Thursday); domestic cume: $58 million.

Even considering its relatively moderate $30 million budget, Step Up 3D will be able to recover its production cost only after playing overseas, where the second entry performed particularly well, taking in $92.8 million.

Update: Step Up 3D ultimately collected a mediocre $42.4 million domestically and an impressive $116.9 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $159.3 million.

Its top international territories were Germany ($13.9 million), Russia/CIS ($12.1 million), and the United Kingdom ($11.5 million).


The Other Guys: Will Ferrell” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “The Other Guys: Will Ferrell Has Second-Biggest Debut?” 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, Step Up 3D, and other titles being profitable or 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.

Sharni Vinson and Rick Malambri Step Up 3D movie image: K.C. Bailey | Summit Entertainment | Walt Disney Studios.

The Other Guys: Will Ferrell Has Second-Biggest Debut?” last updated in June 2022.

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1 comment

Fleur -

Why is Step Up 3D surprising? Step Up made over $114 million worldwide. Step Up 2 made over $148 million. These are low budget films, but they do well. As for Eclipse, I wouldn’t count it out of the top 10 yet. Most people see it on Saturday night. It is about 9 million shy of $300 million domestic and international numbers will be strong this weekend.

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