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Did James Franco’s Oscar Performance Ruin It for Your Highness?

James Franco was a, uh, less-than-stellar Oscar host, but is that reflecting poorly on ticket sales to his most recent flick, Your Highness? The film opened with $9.4 million in sales — not too shabby, but not what its makers were expecting, given the pull of Franco and co-stars Danny McBride and Natalie Portman.

BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino blames Franco's dull Oscar-night take. “I think we’d be looking at ‘Your Highness’ totally differently if he didn’t do the Oscars. Usually there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but this is the rare case where there is. ... It’s always rough when a public persona takes hold and overshadows a project,” he continued. “Franco may have a hundred percent crossed that line into over-saturation.”

“James Franco has never really opened a movie," said Vincent Bruzzese, president of the Worldwide Motion Picture Group at Ipsos OTX. “Whether the Oscar-hosting gig has permanently slowed or muted what was clearly a man on a meteoric rise remains to be seen.” But also: “The question is why do you have him hosting the Oscars to begin with? It’s one of the toughest gigs in Hollywood, and it’s a no-win even if he did do a good job.”

Or maybe it was all the strange Franco-on-Franco college courses, the Twitter fights with Bruce Vilanch, the General Hospital gig, and his pretentious forays into the art and lit worlds?

James Franco: Did His Oscar Performance Bust 'Your Highness'? [Wrap]

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez