'Lost' @ the Box Office - Comedy is Summer's 1st Bomb

The 2009 summer movie season has it's first official bomb – the Will Ferrell comedy/TV adaptation Land of the Lost made just an estimated $7 million at the North America box office Friday in its first day of release, putting it on pace to score somewhere in the $20 range for the 3-day weekend, far below industry expectations/predictions.

With a reported production budget of $100m, Lost seems like a probable bet to have a very short box office life and likely fall far short of covering its estimated cost. The film is being soundly thrashed by critics, and while broad comedies – particularly ones starring Ferrell – are usually critic-proof and driven by the young, male demographic, one of Lost's problems is the surprise success of the Rated R comedy The Hangover, which was the #1 film on Friday with an estimated $16.5m.

A surprise critical hit and now generating positive word-of-mouth, that film will likely be the movie of choice for the male 18-49 year-old crowd until the Transformers sequel opens later this month.

Despite its Friday win, Hangover isn't a sure bet to win the weekend, however. In a full out battle of different demographics, Disney/Pixar's Up is holding up very strongly (a probably 35% or better decline), and both films are estimated to gross in the mid-$40 million range for the full weekend. The latest CGI-animated feature from Pixar is now likely to reach the $250m mark eventually.

As to other notable genre holdovers, Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell is not long for this world. The Universal film will drop to 7th place in its second weekend in release and is looking at an estimated $7-$7.5m gross for the weekend.

Terminator Salvation and Star Trek are battling it out for the 5th and 6th place slots, which is a battle that obviously favors Trek as the film opened two week's earlier. Salvation will just crack the $100m mark while Star Trek is going to finish the weekend with around $222m.

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