LOS ANGELES • The audience has spoken, Sacha Baron Cohen: It is over.
Heralded as a comedic superstar after his raunchy Borat became a surprise smash hit in 2006, Cohen has since delivered rapidly shrinking opening weekend results, as his core young fan base has grown up and moved on.
Bruno took in US$30.6 million in 2009. The Dictator collected US$17.4 million in 2012. And over the weekend, The Brothers Grimsby sold just US$3.2 million (S$4.4 million) in tickets - complete rejection. The Sony Pictures spy comedy cost about US$37 million to make.
Grimsby, which has gags about celebrities contracting Aids and men hiding in an elephant's vagina, adds to a difficult period for Sony Pictures, which last year ousted its movie chief.
"We are disappointed, of course, especially because Sacha worked tirelessly to promote what we think is a very funny movie," said Mr Rory Bruer, Sony's president of domestic distribution.
The No. 1 movie at the North American box office was Zootopia, the Disney film that, coincidentally, had a writing team that included Phil Johnston, who co-wrote the R-rated Grimsby.
The film took in about US$50 million, for a very strong two-week total of US$142.6 million, according to comScore, which compiles ticketing data. It has taken in US$288.7 million more overseas.
10 Cloverfield Lane was second with US$25.2 million and Deadpool was third, selling about US$10.8 million in tickets.
NEW YORK TIMES