The box office figures I posted yesterday were based on studio estimates. Revised figures were released today showing that Speed Racer actually bombed even worse than first reported. Originally listed in the number two spot with $20.2 million, it was downgraded to third with $18.6 million. But it’s okay, Speed Racer, no matter what place you’re in, I’ll always think of you as a big number two.
Some are even accusing Warner Bros. execs of deliberately overestimating the gross. Nikki Finke quoted a studio exec yesterday saying, "That’s a very aggressive Sunday estimate to try and claim 2nd," and it’s looking like he was right. Today she reports that star Emile Hirsch has fired his agent.
Moreover, expect "industry analysts" to quantify and break down Speed Racer‘s failure into truthy little chunks that have nothing to do with reality. It was a bad idea for a movie, that’s all that needs to be said – get over it, it’s not the Iraq war. And anyway, the directors and the majority of the cast are respected and established stars – this isn’t going to hurt them that much.
The real loser here is the chimp. You just know someone’ll write a movie starring a former High School Musical castmember and a chimp, or a movie about chimps saving the rec center. Some exec’ll greenlight it, but then he’ll be like, "Hold on, are we talking the Speed Racer chimp here? Oh, forget this – that chimp’s box office poison."