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50 Cent Discounted at Box Office

50 Cent

50 Cent Discounted at Box Office

He may have sold a lot of CDs but rapper 50 Cent can’t seem to get his fans into theaters.

It’s either because of the shooting in a Pittsburgh theater that killed one fan this week, or it’s simply a matter of little interest in the subject matter.

On Friday night, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” the violent biopic about Curtis Jackson (famous for being shot nine times and then becoming the owner of much jewelry) finished in fourth place behind “Chicken Little,” “Zathura” and “Derailed.” It only narrowly beat out fifth place Jarhead with a take of $4.5 million.

Since opening on Wednesday, "Get Rich" has brought in only $13.8 million. If you add in a possible $9 million more for tonight and tomorrow, it will have $24 million under its diamond-crusted bling-bling belt. That’s not the blockbuster Paramount could have been hoping for, but maybe DVD sales are where the action is on this title.

The number of people who will have seen "Get Rich" in five days is kind of interesting when you think about it. That $24 million, at ten bucks a pop, translates into 240,000 tickets sold. If some tickets went for a little less, we could be generous and say 300,000 fans of the rapper made it through turnstiles — and maybe in some cases metal detectors — to see their idol.

But 50 Cent’s albums, at least by Universal Music Group’s accounting, have each sold millions in an equivalent time period. And oddly enough, there is currently no 50 Cent album or soundtrack album on the Billboard Top 100. 50 Cent’s “The Massacre,” which was released nine months ago, is No. 30 on the Billboard Hip Hop/Rap chart. The movie has generated no heat for 50 Cent’s music at all.

So the question is, where are those fans and why didn’t they pour in to theaters this weekend to see their man? It’s certainly no fault of director Jim Sheridan or even Paramount marketing. They did their best. Maybe the answer is that there aren’t so many 50 Cent fans in the first place. That would raise some other questions, certainly.