‘Semi-Pro’ Takes Box-Office Crown, But It’s No Slam Dunk

'The Other Boleyn Girl' makes royal entrance despite limited release.

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 “Semi-Pro” ($15.2 million)
#2 “Vantage Point” ($13 million)
#3 “The Spiderwick Chronicles” ($8.8 million)
#4 “The Other Boleyn Girl” ($8.3 million)
#5 “Jumper” ($7.6 million)

It was a win, but not a slam dunk, for Will Ferrell at the box office this weekend, as “Semi-Pro” managed a number-one finish that was simultaneously far below expectations. With just $15.2 million, the sports comedy is only the eighth-best opening of Ferrell’s career, behind even cinematic disappointments like “Kicking & Screaming” and “Bewitched.”

How could this happen, especially given that the film’s tracking numbers were so high? It may have to do with Ferrell’s full-court press of sports comedies, which has left most casual Ferrell fans kicking and screaming themselves. “Semi-Pro” is the fourth Ferrell flick in three years to center on the world of sports, and while “Talladega Nights” and “Blades of Glory” performed well, he might have reached the saturation point. Could it be the era of the stupid, oblivious, overconfident man-child is over? Long live the era of the stupid, oblivious, overconfident man-child, and Judd Apatow, its patron saint.

In its second week, “Vantage Point” dropped 43 percent to come in second place with a healthy $13 million haul. The political thriller stands at $41 million after just two weeks. “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” meanwhile, dropped even less, earning $8.7 million for a third-place finish.

In fourth place, “The Other Boleyn Girl” impressed with $8.6 million from just 1,100 locations, good enough for the highest per-screen average of any film in the top 10. This once again proves the old maxim that nothing says “good time” at the movies like historical fiction and hot girls. Expect stars Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson to return for the sequel, “Henry IX.”

Among other new releases, “Penelope,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Christina Ricci, sputtered out of the gate, earning just $4 million and an eight-place finish.

Upcoming Releases

Human beings are assaulted by all manner of prehistoric monsters in “10,000 B.C.,” Jason Statham assaults high-security vaults in “The Bank Job,” and Amy Adams continues her assault on my heart in “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Semi-Pro,” “Vantage Point” and “The Spiderwick Chronicles.”

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