WB's erroneous tally fuels box office race
Turns out moms weren’t as into “Speed Racer” as Warner Bros. predicted.Pic ended up in third place for the frame, well below the studio’s Sunday morning estimate that put it just ahead of Fox’s “What Happens in Vegas.” Final tally for “Racer” was $18.6 million, 8% below the studio’s report of $20.2 million. “Vegas” ended up at $20.2 million, slightly above Fox’s estimate. Final gross for first place “Iron Man” was $51.2 million, a bit higher than Par’s $50.5 million prediction. Several rivals had said Sunday morning that Warner’s estimate was significantly higher than their own and that the “Speed Racer” studio seemed to be reporting an aggressive gross to keep its $100 million-plus tentpole ahead of Fox’s modestly budgeted comedy. They argued that it was unlikely Mother’s Day would be strong for the pic, as would have been necessary for Warner to reach the $20.2 million estimate. And they turned out to be correct. Sunday gross for “Racer” was a soft $5 million, well behind Friday’s $6.2 million and Saturday’s $7.3 million. It’s far from the first time a studio with an underperforming pic has overestimated its Sunday gross and avoided an embarrassing third-place finish in Monday morning box office stories. In March, Universal initially reported that “Leatherheads” had come in second ahead of Fox’s “Nim’s Island.” But when final grosses came in on Monday, they swapped places — just as most other studios had predicted.