Comedies made a big comeback this weekend and dominated the box office, yet the overall box office suffered a steep year-over-year decline, according to Daily Variety.
That means this summer has now slipped behind last year's pace, with the season about to peak over the July 4 weekend.
Me, Myself & Irene starring Jim Carrey took the No. 1 box office slot with $24.2 million. On the Carrey-ometer, though, the needle didn't really jump. The picture marks a comeback from the abyss of last December's Man on the Moon. But it's also $5 million-$10 million below releases such as 1997's Liar Liar, 1998's The Truman Show, and 1995's Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
Here are the weekend box office numbers, according to Hollywood.com:
- Me, Myself & Irene, $24.2 million
- Chicken Run, $17.5 million
- Shaft, $13.3 million
- Gone in 60 Seconds, $9.5 million
- Big Momma's House, $8.7 million
"He is a clown, a brilliant clown," says Jill Bernstein, an associate editor at Premiere magazine. "He is able to do things with his body and make people laugh in ways that hearken back to Jerry Lewis and Charlie Chaplin."
But critics weren't laughing at Carrey's break from comedy for a more serious role in Man on the Moon. And despite a strong performance in The Truman Show, he was passed over for an Oscar.
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"He was very disappointed that he didn't get the critical and Academy recognition that he -- and many people, I think -- felt that he had earned," observes Bernstein.
Carrey's bet rehab may be a return to the style of comedy that defined him in Hollywood. And this time, he's pushing the limits even further.
"I think in the writing is a new level of grossness," says Bernstein.
A few moviegoers who were asked for their reactions to Me, Myself & Irene had nothing but praise for Carrey's uninhibited, off-the-wall brand of comedy, not to mention "the plasticity of his face."
Carrey reportedly made more than $20 million for Me, Myself & Irene, ranking him among Hollywood's highest-paid actors.