Sunday, December 26, 2010

Little Fockers - Little Success


Ed here: This long paragraph from Deadline Hollywood tells you just how movies (and sausages) sometimes get made.

1. Little Fockers (Universal) NEW [3,536 Theaters]
Wednesday $7.2M, Thursday $7.1M, Friday $5M, Saturday $14.5M
3-Day Weekend $34M, Cume $48.3M

This was supposed to be the big get-out-the-audience Christmas weekend family comedy, and exit polling showed the audience was 57%/43% female vs. male, and 53%/47% under vs over age 30. Granted, the Christmas Day total was almost 3 times Christmas Eve. But these are Universal's own less-than-encouraging numbers as well as 3-day weekend and 5-day holiday cumes for this third in the Meet The Parents/Meet The Fockers franchise starring Robert de Niro and Ben Stiller, with the Friday and Saturday estimates for Little Fockers only about 75% of the take for the same exact play period of Meet The Fockers which also opened during the Christmas holiday. Watching the sausage being made when it came to this major studio laugher wasn't pretty. At one point, Universal contemplated replacing director Paul Weitz with producer-writer John Hamburg on The Little Fockers. But that would have resulted in a Directors Guild dust-up. Plus, Adam Fogelson had just taken over as Uni Pictures chairman and didn't want to throw the already traumatized studio into a worse funk. So the decision was made to fix the movie in post. Weitz, Hamburg, Stiller, and Jay Roach spent two months going through the footage and finalized a week of pickups with all the principal cast. So Universal scheduled more than half a dozen full-blown scenes, including 4 with Dustin Hoffman who originally had been written out of the threequel when the studio couldn't reach a deal with him. But Hamburg and Roach helped convince Dustin to reprise his role opposite Barbra Streisand and he didn't come cheap. This is now at least a $100M budget film. Universal continued to spin that Little Fockers could have gone out "as is" but the studio "wanted to make it better as an investment in the future of the franchise." I always thought this threequel would kill the studio's golden goose -- and with only 9% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and a "B-" CinemaScore, it likely did.

1 comment:

Adriana said...

Sequels are rarely worth doing, and I think you and I agreed, this one had to have been made for the money. Funny how that didn't pan out for the powers that be!