If the tracking holds up, Wednesday will be a long day and night for Fox.
Releasing the PG-13 Tom Cruise comedy/thriller "Knight and Day" into 3,041 theaters, a studio official said he was “confounded” by pre-release data that showed the $107 million film probably won’t even gross $30 million in its first five days of release.
UPDATED: Several rival studio officials believe the film will actually break the $30 million/five-day barrier without much problem.
“Tracking says one thing, but our sneak previews this weekend said something totally different,” the studio executive told TheWrap.
On Saturday night, Fox played the James Mangold-directed film, which co-stars Cameron Diaz, in 500 theaters across the country, selling out 85 percent of capacity.
“The reaction was great,” the Fox official said. “These are people who bought tickets, and they loved the movie … but if you look at the empirical data, we’re nowhere.”
With critical aggregator Rotten Tomatoes scoring “Knight and Day” with a 54 percent fresh Tuesday, reviews could be described as lukewarm.
Competition in the feature-comedy arena isn’t intense right now, with holdovers “Get Him to the Greek” from Universal and Lionsgate’s “Killers” both entering their third weekends. However, Sony’s Adam Sandler vehicle “Grown Ups” debuts on Friday.
In fact, "Knight and Day" probably will struggle to finish in third place this weekend, with Disney/PIxar's well-received "Toy Story 3" likely to hold much of its $110.4 million premiere total, and "Grown Ups" tracking to finish in the $30 million-plus range over its first three days.