Audiences were apparently in a mood to laugh as three comedies, two of them new, opened with solid results during what is usually a droopy weekend ending the spring season. The Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy Baby Mama from Universal topped the box office with an estimated $18.3 million, followed by Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantánamo Bay, which opened at No. 2 with $14.6 million. Last week's top film, Universal's Forgetting Sarah Marshall grossed about $11 million, a touch below The Forbidden Kingdom, which opened with $11.2 million. (Those two films might reverse positions when final results are reported later today.) Another new film, 20th Century Fox's Deception, starring Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams performed even worse than most analysts had expected. It pulled in only $2.2 million, but nevertheless wound up on the top-ten list -- albeit in tenth place. That so many comedies could do so well surprised many analysts. "This pokes a huge hole in that old myth that you can't open two comedies back to back or one comedy against another," Nikki Rocco, the distribution chief for Universal, which had Baby Mama competing against Sarah Marshall, told the Los Angeles Times. "The market did expand," she said, adding separately in an interview with Variety: "We had 40 percent of the market share this weekend, which is nice for any studio." Overall, the box ended on an up note, producing better results than a year earlier for the second week in a row.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Media
1. Baby Mama, $18.3 million; 2. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantánamo Bay, $14.6 million; 3. The Forbidden Kingdom, $11.2 million; 4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, $11 million; 5. Nim's Island, $4.5 million; 6. Prom Night, $4.4 million; 7. 21, $4 million; 8. 88 Minutes, $3.6 million; 9. Horton Hears a Who!, $2.4 million; 10. Deception, $2.2 million.