‘En­tourage’ to trail other de­buts

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - By Saba Hamedy saba.hamedy@la­times.com Times staff writer Amy Kauf­man con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Warner Bros. is bet­ting that fans of the hit HBO se­ries “En­tourage” will turn up in the­aters to see Vinny Chase and the boys on the big screen.

The film, set for re­lease four years af­ter the show went off the air, is poised to make $12 mil­lion to $17 mil­lion in its open­ing week, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple familiar with pre-re­lease au­di­ence sur­veys.

The stu­dio doesn’t ex­pect the film will be No. 1 at the box of­fice. In fact, “En­tourage” is ex­pected to trail far be­hind the Melissa McCarthy com­edy “Spy” and hor­ror film “In­sid­i­ous Chap­ter 3,” both of which are track­ing to de­but with at least $25 mil­lion over the week­end.

But with a mod­est bud­get of un­der $30 mil­lion, “En­tourage,” which opens Wed­nes­day, doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily need a big box-of­fice haul. The show’s built-in fan base may be enough to sus­tain life at the box of­fice.

“Peo­ple al­ways com­plained the episodes were too short,” pro­ducer Mark Wahlberg told The Times. “I felt there was al­ways a de­mand for [the movie]. Peo­ple al­ways wanted more.”

“En­tourage,” which had an eight-sea­son run from 2004 to 2011, found a fer­vent fol­low­ing sim­i­lar to that of HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Fans, mostly males, watched “En­tourage” in part be­cause they wor­shiped the Hol­ly­wood life­styles of the on-screen en­sem­ble. The show was nom­i­nated for five Em­mys and six Golden Globes for best com­edy se­ries. The most popular sea­son of “En­tourage” av­er­aged 8.4 mil­lion view­ers per episode, ac­cord­ing to HBO.

Writ­ten and di­rected by se­ries cre­ator Doug Ellin, the movie picks up shortly af­ter the 2011 TV fi­nale with the boys — Hol­ly­wood star Vin­cent Chase (Adrian Gre­nier), E. (Kevin Con­nolly), Tur­tle (Jerry Fer­rara) and Drama (Kevin Dil­lon) — back to their usual shenani­gans.

HBO, which with Warner Bros. is owned by Time Warner, has made its big­gest splash on the big screen with “Sex and the City.” The wildly popular show had 10.3 mil­lion view­ers in its 2004 fi­nale, and the se­ries was made into two fea­ture films.

The first film, re­leased in 2008, climbed to No. 1 in the box of­fice, and opened with $57 mil­lion. The se­quel, re­leased a few years later, wasn’t as suc­cess­ful, open­ing with $37 mil­lion.

A hur­dle for “En­tourage”: Some crit­ics have bashed the movie for glo­ri­fy­ing a sto­ry­line about shal­low male char­ac­ters who ob­jec­tify women. The film has racked up a paltry 22% pos­i­tive rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes.

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