"Get Smart" outsmarts "Guru" at box office

Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:23pm EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Maxwell Smart clobbered Mike Myers with his shoe phone at the weekend box office in North America.

"Get Smart," a remake of the classic television spy spoof, sold an estimated $39.2 million worth of tickets during its first three days, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures said on Sunday.

Steve Carell, of TV's "The Office," stars as Maxwell Smart, the ineptly clever secret agent originated by Don Adams. Anne Hathaway fills in for Barbara Feldon as his smart sidekick, Agent 99.

Warner Bros. had been hoping for an opening in the $30 million to $35 million range, said Dan Fellman, president of domestic theatrical distribution at the Time Warner Inc-owned studio. It shared the $80 million tab with Australia's Village Roadshow Ltd.

Myers' "The Love Guru," meanwhile, opened at No. 4 with just $14 million, said Paramount Pictures, falling far short of the $20 million range forecast by Hollywood pundits.

The Canadian actor, making his first on-screen appearance since the 2003 bomb "The Cat in the Hat," plays a Deepak Chopra-style New Age guru prone to joking about bodily functions. Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc, split the $60 million cost with independent producer Spyglass Entertainment.

The studios' decision to stake out the same weekend for their competing comedies surprised many observers, who predicted they would end up cannibalizing each other. That turned out not to be the case.

"The competition came from holdovers," said Warner Bros.' Fellman.   Continued...

<p>A scene from the film "Get Smart", featuring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. REUTERS/Tracy Bennett/Handout</p>