'Funny People' tops modest boxoffice

'Harry Potter,' 'G-Force' round out top three

Universal's "Funny People," a film about stand-up comics with serious problems, staged a good-humored weekend bow estimated at $23.4 million.

But that was on the lower end of industry expectations for the Adam Sandler-starring dramatic comedy, which will be watched for drawing power during coming weeks. Industry consensus maintains summer-laggard Uni needed not only to open the R-rated "Funny" well but also to sustain positive word-of-mouth.

Its first-frame tally gains luster when viewed among lackluster results elsewhere in the limp boxoffice session. The weekend's top 10 rung up $106 million, or 25% less than top performers in the same frame last year, according to Nielsen EDI.

As for the other openers, Fox's "Aliens in the Attic" arrived in fifth place with $7.8 million, down in the cellar of prerelease forecasts for family action fantasy, and Freestyle Releasing's R-rated horror film "The Collector" missed the top 10, collecting just $3.6 million.

After topping the previous weekend's rankings, Disney's animated family actioner "G-Force" dropped 46% in its sophomore session to $17.1 million and third place, with a 10-day tally of $66.5 million. Sony's romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" tumbled 53% in its second outing to ring up $13 million with $54.5 million in cumulative boxoffice, and Warner Bros.' horror pic "The Orphan" slid 44% for $7.3 million in sixth with a $26.8 million cume.

Warners' leggy sequel "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" took the frame's silver medal with $17.7 million. Bolstered by $3.2 million from 160 high-grossing Imax playdates, "Prince" boasts a $255.5 million cume through three sessions.

In a limited bow, Sony Pictures Classics unspooled the Belgian drama "Lorna's Silence" in six locations to gross $36,219, or a solid $6,037 per site.

Roadside Attractions opened eco-documentary "The Cove" in four theaters and grossed $55,500, or an impressive $13,875 per venue.

Focus Features debuted the Korean vampire film "Thirst" in four locations and fetched $55,173, or an encouraging $13,793 per site.

Fox Searchlight sent out its romantic comedy "Adam" on Wednesday with four playdates to woo $66,265, or $16,566 per engagement, with five-day cume of $94,776.

IFC Fims opened Danish WWII drama "Flame and Citron" in a pair of New York theaters, grossing $13,620.

Elsewhere, Searchlight's romantic comedy "(500) Days of Summer" added 181 theaters for a total 266 to register $2.8 million, or a sunny $10,338 per venue, with a $6.8 million cume.

Iraq War drama "The Hurt Locker" from Summit Entertainment and Maple Pictures added 285 locations for a total 523 in grossing $1.9 million, or a sturdy $3,654 per site, with a $6.8 million cume.

IFC Films added 27 engagements for a total 35 for military comedy "In the Loop" and rung up $308,947, a solid $8,827 per playdate, with cume of $589,535.

And Here Media's Japanese drama "Departures" added one theater for a total 22 in grossing $44,540, or $2,121 per venue, as cume hit $1 million for the foreign-language Oscar winner.

Directed by Judd Apatow, "Funny" co-stars Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann. Toting a nearly 2 1/2-hour running time and $70 million negative cost, the dramedy has drawn largely positive reviews and debuted midway between the two previous Apatow-helmed movies. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" unspooled in August 2005 with $21.4 million and registered $109.4 million overall domestically; 2007's "Knocked Up" bowed with $30.7 million and rang up $148.8 million in domestic coin.

"We're pleased to be No. 1," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said. "We're pleased with the opening, as it was a different sort of role for Adam. And for Judd, it has him evolving into a more serious kind of comedy."

Audiences skewed 53% male, with 52% of "Funny" patrons aged 25 or older.

Like "G-Force," "Aliens" mixes whimsical CGI characters into live action, though with production costs estimated at $45 million, the latter was a lot less expensive to produce. Rated PG, "Aliens" features a young ensemble cast including Ashley Tisdale ("High School Musical"), with John Schultz ("The Honeymooners") directing.

"The kids do love the movies, so hopefully we'll take advantage of the summer days ahead," Fox senior vp distribution Chris Aronson said.

Opening audiences for "Aliens" comprised 52% females, with family patrons accounting for 75% of its support.

Liddell Entertainment's "Collector" stars Josh Stewart ("The Haunting of Molly Hartley") and was helmed by "Saw IV" writer Marcus Dunstan. Playing in 1,325 locations, "Collector" targeted primarily young males.

"Exceeding $3 million was our goal, so we are quite pleased," Freestyle president Mark Borde said.

Looking ahead, wide openers set for Friday include Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" -- the first pure action release in several weeks -- Sony's Meryl Streep starrer "Julie and Julia" and Universal's R-rated horror thriller "A Perfect Getaway."
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