Both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline have preliminary (and somewhat divergent) estimates for Friday and the weekend boxoffice, and it looks like this will be the second consecutive weekend with a down-to-the-wire finish. Whoever comes out ahead when final numbers are announced, though, it’s already clear that this will be another unexpectedly robust session at the multiplex.
Depending on the source, THE VOW (Screen Gems/Sony) made $12.5M (THR) or $15M (Deadline) on Friday, which should mean a weekend in the $32-37M range. Tracking had been through the roof for this pre-Valentine’s weekend soap, so this isn’t a tremendous surprise.
Hollywood’s bonus, though, is that SAFE HOUSE (Universal) is performing far above estimates, with a $11.5 (THR) or $14M (Deadline) Friday, which should mean $30-35M for the weekend. One can speculate that The Vow, with its reliance on a young female audience, may be more frontloaded than the R-rated Safe House, which could give the latter a bit of an edge for the weekend title, but that’s just conjecture at this point.
With Vow for women and Safe House for guys, that left an opening for a kids’ movie, and say hello (again) to STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE 3D (Fox), which is proving again that audiences have no problem with paying to see old favorites if there’s a 3D tweak (good news for Titanic 3D, coming soon to a theatre near you). Phantom Menace did $9M (Deadline) or $10M (THR) Friday, heading for a $23-27M weekend for George Lucas’ bulging bank accounts.
The odd movie out was JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (Warners), which had the temerity to tangle with the Skywalkers, and earned $4.5 (THR) or $6.5M (Deadline) on Friday. Even this isn’t bad for 4th place, as it looks like a $15-20M weekend.
Stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY all weekend for boxoffice updates and analysis!