Scott will be along with our weekly box office analysis shortly, but before this weekend’s numbers have even tentatively been finalized there has been a bit of a scandal. According to Nikki Finke, some of the studios are calling “Foul” on Speed Racer’s less than formidable take, accusing the supporting studio, Warner Brothers, of inflating the movie’s box office numbers in an effort to get a higher position on the weekly chart and maybe get some mothers into seats.

The box office numbers that come in on Sunday are approximations made by the studios based on how the movie has done so far and a formula that considers how much more the film can make on Sunday. Those numbers aren’t finalized until Monday, when the actual dollar amounts come in. There’s a kind of code of honor among the studios to be accurate when reporting the Sunday estimates. It looks like Warner Brothers may not be playing fair, however, because rival studios said it wasn’t possible for Speed Racer to make the kind of numbers it would have to make on Sunday to reach a $20.2 million opening weekend.

Those who want to give Warners the benefit of the doubt have stated that movies typically do well on Mother’s Day, although the amount of moms who would want to see a live action adaptation of Speed Racer is questionable. Some are speculating that WB may have inflated the numbers to make the movie more appealing than its comedic competition specifically to get those people into their theater instead of Fox’s.

Even with fabricated box office sales, Speed Racer had no hope of beating last weekend’s giant, Iron Man, but it looks like Warner Brothers is trying to challenge the number two spot. Don’t be surprised if Speed Racer’s actual numbers drop below the $20 million mark tomorrow, reducing the film to third place for the weekend and the summer’s first big bomb.
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