‘Entourage’ to trail other debuts
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.