LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Tina Fey’s “Baby Mama” and the “Harold & Kumar” sequel — two new comedies with no overlapping audience — will take the top spots at the weekend box office in North America.
“Baby Mama,” in which Fey stars with fellow “Saturday Night Live” alumna Amy Poehler, will open in the high-teen millions thanks in part to big interest among 12- to 16-year-old girls, industry observers forecast.
Look for a mid-teen millions bow for the stoner comedy “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,” a natural magnet for male youngsters.
Incumbent champ, “Forbidden Kingdom,” will likely battle for third place with “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” last weekend’s No. 2 movie.
Both “Mama” and “Marshall” come from Universal Pictures. Some might wonder about the studio’s decision to release the comedies on consecutive weekends. “Mama” also is tracking well with older women, and there could be concern about audience overlap.
Yet the situation just might turn out to be more like a win-win for the studio, as the films feature significantly different comedic aesthetics and this are likely to draw from separate constituencies.
“Marshall” has attracted lots of press about a scene with full-frontal nudity, and the studio has made much marketing hay out of edgy producer Judd Apatow’s connection to the film. “Mama,” on the other hand, is filled with maternity jokes, and its theaters will be y-chromosome-free this weekend.
The “Odd Couple”-style comedy stars Fey as a busy executive whose baby is being delivered by a gum-cracking, cocktail-swigging surrogate mom.
Meanwhile, “Harold & Kumar” marks a reunion for John Cho and Kal Penn, the stars of the 2004 original “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.” That film opened to just $5.5 million, but was a bigger hit on DVD.
Elsewhere, Fox opens “Deception,” a crime thriller starring Ewan McGregor. That’s the film’s third title — which might be all anyone needs to know to gauge the film’s prospects. Barring a last-minute name change to “Gone With the Wind II,” “Deception” is unlikely to gross higher than the single-digit millions during its opening weekend.
Limited launches include “Deal,” a poker-competition film starring Burt Reynolds and Shannon Elizabeth. The MGM release, opening in 51 theaters, is getting a marketing push from the World Poker Tour, and will expand to additional markets during the subsequent weekends.