This weekend, the Warner comedy
Both films came in behind the behemoth "Oz: The Great and Powerful," which claimed the No. 1 spot with $42.2 million during its second weekend in release, raising its domestic total to $145 million. Overseas, the Walt Disney Studios' production collected a decent $46.6 million from 55 foreign countries, performing best in Russia and Britain. The picture's foreign tally now stands at $136.8 million.
The solid opening for "The Call" is good news for Berry, who hasn't been able to attract crowds to the box office in anything other than ensemble films for the past decade. In her latest movie, acquired by
Heading into the weekend, pre-release audience surveys indicated that "The Call" was resonating strongly with African American moviegoers. Sony declined on Sunday to release a breakdown of ticket sales by race.
"That's an important component of how the picture played, but we not only had a great African American audience, we got a great result throughout the country," said Rory Bruer, Sony's distribution president.
The studio did say that the picture appealed to a female audience, as 61% of those who saw it over the weekend were women. The opening weekend crowd assigned the picture an average grade of B+, according to market research firm CinemaScore.
Although Warner Bros.' New Line division only spent $32 million to produce "Burt Wonderstone," the film would have to perform box-office magic to transform itself into a financial winner for the studio. The few who saw the poorly reviewed movie this weekend -- 44% of whom were under the age of 25 -- didn't like it, giving it a C+ grade. That doesn't bode well for word of mouth on the picture, which stars Carell as a Las Vegas magician facing off against a more outlandish rival (
Earlier in his career, Carell did best with broad comedies like "Wonderstone" -- after all, it was
But Dan Fellman, Warner. Bros' president of domestic distribution, wouldn't attribute the weak opening for Carell's latest film to the star.
"Steve's a fabulous actor, and just like in any business, every time you get up to the plate you're not going to hit it out of the park," Fellman said. "He'll be back."
It's been a tough year for Warner Bros. thus far, as the historically successful studio has released a string of films that have underperformed at the multiplex. The only film to do even decent business was the noir crime drama
"Our numbers are certainly soft so far this year, but it's the calendar year that makes up for it," said Fellman, pointing to the upcoming debuts of the latest installments in