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first_imgFerrell’s most recent comedy, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” had a $47 million opening last summer and went on to take in $148.2 million domestically. But instead of the world of professional racing depicted in “Talladega,” “Blades” has Ferrell parodying the world of pro figure skating. “I think it will appeal to all audience quadrants because Will has a broad following,” said Jim Tharp, head of distribution at Paramount Pictures, which is releasing the film into 3,000 theaters. While the families are sure to be part of the “Blades” audience, “Meet the Robinsons” will be looking to dominate in that demographic and displace “TMNT” as the No. 1 movie in the marketplace for kids and parents. “Robinsons,” about an inventor who gets whisked away in a time machine, will bow in 3,413 locations. But on about 600 digital projection screens, audiences will be able to see the movie in 3-D. “The idea that we are in 3-D puts a cachet in the mind of the moviegoer who loves what digital 3-D brings,” said Chuck Viane, president of Disney’s Buena Vista Distribution. Will Ferrell in a silly comedy is usually a good box office bet, and an animated movie from Disney is typically a force to be reckoned with. But do Ferrell’s “Blades of Glory” and Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons,” both opening in theaters today, have enough firepower to lead the movie industry to its fifth straight $100 million-plus-grossing weekend? And will they be able to maintain a mini-streak of four consecutive weekends that have bested 2006 box office receipts? That will be a daunting task given that “Ice Age: The Meltdown” had a $68 million opening the same weekend a year ago. “I think together they will probably come close to the opening of that film,” said Gitesh Pandya, editor of “I think `Blades’ will reach number one and be a little bigger than `Meet the Robinsons,’ which also should have a good opening. You have two promising comedies that are targeting different audiences and so the marketplace should expand to accommodate.” While animated films released under Disney’s Pixar Animation banner have been surefire blockbusters, other animated studio fare has been hit-and-miss. But Disney did enjoy a solid non-Pixar hit in 2005 with “Chicken Little,” which grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office. Under its Miramax Films banner, Disney will also be releasing the drama “The Lookout” in 1,000 theaters. But the trio of new movies still has some strong holdover films to contend with. The Warner Bros. release “300” is likely to remain in the top three and is on its way to surpassing the $200 million mark in domestic box office grosses. “TMNT,” the resurrection of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise from the 1990s, opened in first place last weekend and is likely to remain in the top five. “The Ninja Turtles will have competition from `Meet the Robinsons,”‘ Pandya said. “It’s a cartoon based on a popular brand, and those films typically attract a lot of business upfront.” Also looking to stay in the top five is the Disney comedy “Wild Hogs,” which was at the $126 million mark as of Wednesday; and Paramount’s action flick “Shooter,” starring Mark Wahlberg, which opened in third place last weekend. If business is robust enough, the industry could end up having a record month of March and set itself up well for the all-important summer season. Viane said his dream is to see “Robinsons” and “Blades” outgross last year’s “Meltdown” and continue the current box office roll. “You want your picture to be in one of those wonderful, momentum-building weeks,” he said. Added Tharp: “There have been trailers with all these movies that are doing really well and it’s been a lot of exposure.” [email protected] (818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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