Media News

'Get Smart' outguns 'Guru' at box office

LOS ANGELES, June 22 (Reuters) - Maxwell Smart took control of the weekend box office in North America, while Mike Myers lost his mojo with his new comedy.

“Get Smart,” a remake of the classic television spy spoof, sold an estimated $39.2 million worth of tickets during its first three days, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures said on Sunday.

Steve Carell, of TV’s “The Office,” stars as Maxwell Smart, the ineptly clever secret agent originated by Don Adams. Anne Hathaway fills in for Barbara Feldon as his smart sidekick, Agent 99.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc TWX.N, had been hoping for an opening in the $30 million to $35 million range, said studio distribution president Dan Fellman. The film cost about $80 million to make, he added, with Australia's Village Roadshow Ltd VRL.AX sharing the tab.

Myers’ “The Love Guru,” meanwhile, opened at No. 4 with just $14 million, said Paramount Pictures, falling far short of the $20 million range forecast by Hollywood pundits.

The Canadian actor, making his first on-screen appearance since the 2003 bomb "The Cat in the Hat," plays a Deepak Chopra-style New Age guru. The film, laden with jokes about bodily functions, cost about $60 million to make, said the Viacom Inc VIAb.N-owned studio.

Critics were mixed on “Get Smart” and appalled by “The Love Guru.” The Wall Street Journal said “Get Smart” generated about two forgettable laughs, but was “Citizen Kane” compared to “The Love Guru.” TV critic Richard Roeper said Myers had produced “one of the worst movies of the year.”

The DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc DWA.N cartoon "Kung Fu Panda" was unchanged at No. 2 with $21.7 million in its third round. The Paramount release has earned $155.6 million to date.

Last weekend’s champion, “The Incredible Hulk,” was close behind with $21.6 million; its 10-day total rose to $96.5 million. By contrast, its unloved 2003 predecessor “The Hulk” had earned $100.6 million in the same time frame.

"The Incredible Hulk" was produced by Marvel Entertainment Inc MVL.N and distributed by General Electric Co's GE.N Universal Pictures. (Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Jackie Frank)