Steve Carell's The Incredible Burt Wonderstone opened to a meek $3.7 million on Friday, putting the magician-themed comedy on course for a dismal $11 million opening weekend.
Conversely, the new Halle Berry thriller The Call overperformed, grossing $6.2 million Friday for a projected $16 million to $17 million opening, coming in No. 2 behind holdover Disney's Oz the Great and Powerful.
Oz took in $11.4 million Friday for a domestic total of $114.2 million. (It's only the second film of the year to cross $100 million after Universal comedy Identity Thief.) Sam Raimi's tentpole is expected to earn $42 million to $43 million in its second weekend.
Costing New Line and Warner Bros. $32 million to make, Burt Wonderstone received a problematic C+ CinemaScore from moviegoers despite its high-profile cast, including Jim Carrey.
The comedy, also starring Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Steve Buscemi and James Gandolfini, tells the story of Burt Wonderstone (Carell), a Las Vegas magician who reteams with a former partner (Buscemi) to take on up-and-coming street magician Steve Gray (Carrey).
Burt Wonderstone marks another disappointment for New Line and Warner Bros. following Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer.
Sony/TriStar's R-rated thriller The Call, starring Berry opposite Abigail Breslin, earned a B+ CinemaScore and is benefiting from a strong turnout by African-American audiences. The Call cost a modest $13 million to produce.
In the film, Berry plays a 911 operator who receives a call from a girl who has been abducted. The operator soon learns she must confront a killer (Michael Eklund) from her past. Brad Anderson directed the film, which was produced and financed by Troika Pictures and WWE Studios.