SNL alum Andy Samberg’s movie with the Lonely Island – Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – bombed at the box office over the weekend, coming in eighth place.
Despite rave reviews from critics, the Andy Samberg-led movie Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, a collaboration with his group the Lonely Island, failed to take off over the weekend, earning just $4.6 million from 2,311 locations, according to Variety. It also earned a mediocre B CinemaScore from audiences.
The satirical film stars Samberg as a Justin Bieber-inspired music prodigy named Conner4Real. It was co-written and also stars Lonely Island members Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. The trio are best known for producing such “Digital Shorts” for SNL as “Dick in a Box” and “I’m on a Boat,” and recently premiered a music video for a song from the movie’s soundtrack, titled “Finest Girl,” during the sketch show’s season finale hosted by Fred Armisen. It features sexual references involving the death of Osama bin Laden. Popstar co-stars fellow SNL vets Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Joan Cusack, Tim Meadows and Sarah Silverman.
Universal spent $21 million on the mockumentary comedy, and is still holding out hope that it’ll gain a cult following down the road via home entertainment platforms. “Films like this can have a long tail through the revenue chains,” said Nick Carpou, the studio’s head of domestic distribution. “The story’s not been told on Popstar.”
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Samberg, who earned a Golden Globe for his lead role in the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has several box office flops under his belt, including 2007’s Hot Rod, which grossed only $14 million of its $25 million budget but later earned a cult following, as well as the critically savaged comedy That’s My Boy, in which he played Adam Sandler’s son. However, he’s had better success voicing characters in such animated films as Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and their respective sequels.
Elsewhere at the box office, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows took first place with a disappointing $35.3 million, earning just half of its predecessor’s opening numbers, and continuing a recent trend of sequels failing to live up to expectations following the failure of Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
One film that did find an audience and surpassed projections was the female-aimed romantic drama Me Before You, based on the best seller of the same name, which stars Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke as a caregiver who falls in love with a paralyzed millionaire, played by The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin. It opened to a solid $18.3 million, with a budget of just over $20 million.
Next weekend’s film openings include two more sequels – Now You See Me 2 and The Conjuring 2 – in addition to Warcraft, based on the popular video game series, which has already earned $70 million overseas.