Paramount Pictures' Failure to Launch failed to live up to its name at the boxoffice this weekend, which was a good thing for the film and the distributor.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the romantic comedy achieved liftoff in the top spot with an unexpectedly robust estimate of $24.6 million, followed by Buena Vista Pictures' The Shaggy Dog in second with an estimated $16 million and Fox Searchlight's The Hills Have Eyes in third with an estimated $15.5 million.

The debut for the PG-13 Launch, starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, caught the industry by surprise. Heading into the weekend, observers were in agreement that Shaggy would be wagging its tail in the top spot at the end of the day. The opening for Launch, which was tracking to land in the mid-teens, was a personal best for McConaughey, Parker and director Tom Dey. Tim Allen stars in the latest rendition of Shaggy, which first appeared on the silver screen in 1959. As expected, the PG family comedy, helmed by Brian Robbins, attracted a large family audience.

MGM's The Pink Panther climbed to the No. 1 spot internationally with an estimated boxoffice of $9.2 million, pushing its overseas total to $30 million. The Hollywood Reporter reports thanks to distributor 20th Century Fox International, bumbling Inspector Clouseau, portrayed by Steve Martin, notched first place in Australia (an estimated $966,000 at 243 screens), Germany ($2.1 million at 540 sites) and Austria ($510,000 at 60 screens). In France, where the comedy is set, the remake of Blake Edwards' 1964 original garnered $1.4 million at 504 sites; in Finland, $153,000 at just 35 locations; in Norway, $161,000 at 30 screens; and in Switzerland, $401,000 at 70 sites. In its third weekend in Spain, Panther pulled an estimated $1.3 million from 350 sites, finishing within the market's top three titles.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.