Once in a while something happens with the weekend box office results that reaffirms my faith in the moviegoing public. This time, it's the fact that moviegoers said "go away" rather than "namaste" (that's yoga-speak) to The Love Guru.
Mike Myers' shamelessly lazy comedy was only the fourth-highest attended movie of the weekend ($14-million in ticket sales), finishing well behind Get Smart ($39.2-million). Two superior holdovers — Kung Fu Panda and The Incredible Hulk — still had more appeal than Myers' smug, smutty Guru Pitka, which is essentially rehashed Wayne Campbell and Austin Powers, warmed to only room temperature and served in a turban.
Congratulations! You didn't get suckered by Myers' scheme. He was banking that you loved him so much before, he could get richer by doing so much less now. Each of you who decided to do something else besides watch Myers crack himself up did something to make the world a better place. Kind of like screwing in one of those curly-Q light bulbs at home, except it's the idea bulb over Myers' head.
Of course he'll shrug it off as the studio's fault, for opening The Love Guru on the same weekend as Get Smart. You rarely see two films of the same genre, with stars appealing to the same demographics, going head to head like that, especially in summertime. Steve Carell's commanding 3-to-1 advantage over Myers in ticket sales makes that complaint moot.
The bad news? Selling $14-million in tickets means around 1.7-million people still fell for Myers' scam.
If you know any of these people, reach out to them, apologize for not arranging an intervention at the box office. A mind and eight bucks are terrible things to waste.
Steve Persall can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Read his blog, Reeling in the Years, at blogs.tampabay.com/movies.