Box Office: 66 years later and “42” is an all-star again

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People applauded at the packed evening screening of “42” I attended early last week. Yes, it’s sentimental and old-fashioned, with more than a dash of white liberal guilt sprinkled in for added appeal.

It was sure to appeal to an older audience, is up against the “period pic” prejudice and the baseball movie prejudice and the few “name” stars handicap. Reviews weren’t uniformly glowing, understandable, since as I pointed out, it’s got a few casting and focus problems.

But “42” is a hit. Friday it did a solid $8.5 million, and it could clear $25 by the time the weekend’s over. That’s a good 25% above estimates for what it would earn its opening weekend. Not bad. It could be something of a last hurrah for Harrison Ford, a hit when he hasn’t had one in ages.

When I saw “Scary Movie 5,” there were two of us in the theater. There were no late night showings of it before its official Friday opening. Theater execs and I know this franchise is way past played and this genre has been beaten to death. “A Haunted House,” with “Scary” innovator Marlon Wayans, stole its thunder back in January. I’m shocked it is doing as well as it is — over $13. I doubt if that holds up.

A weak weekend overall for the movies.

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