The sequel to the beloved 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy seemed like the winter’s surest smash not involving wood elves and dragons.
So why did Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues underwhelm at the box office this past weekend, failing to measure up to the original’s haul despite an avalanche of marketing and hype?
The LA Times takes a stab at the question, ticking off an over-saturation of Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy character as well as stiffer competition as possible answers.
Left unsaid: Ferrell is a far more politicized personality than he was a decade ago, a performer who alternately mocks President George W. Bush and excuses the serious flaws of the current White House occupant in his work.
First, the raw numbers:
Its three-day weekend total of $26.8 million was lower than the $28 million of the original, substantially so when considering the original’s inflation-adjusted number of $35 million.
The new film’s five-day total of $40 million (the studio opened the movie Wednesday) falls short too. The first five days of the original release, which spilled into the not-exactly popular moviegoing days of Monday and Tuesday, yielded $46 million in today’s dollars.
And the new film was in 400 more theaters than the original.
The sequel also earned a ho-hum “B” CinemaScore, which means word of mouth likely won’t help. Plus, big films are about to open in theaters nationwide include
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Burgundy overload might be a factor, but it’s hard to ignore Ferrell’s political presence since his mustachioed hero first entered the pop culture radar. Not only does Ferrell’s Funny or Die site refuse to hit liberals as hard as conservatives, his 2012 comedy The Campaign took cruel aim at the Koch Brothers while ignoring progressive political spenders like George Soros.