Family and kids tracking has always been tough to poll before for movie studios and “Cars 2” is the perfect example. Leading up to the Pixar sequel’s opening day, polling indicated that “Cars 2” would actually open significantly less than its 2006 predecessor which found $60.1 million. In fact, Walt Disney Studios was sending out signals it would be more than happy with a $50-55 million debut. That would have been a disappointment considering the first “Cars” has been a merchandising bonanza generating, no joke, almost $10 billion in retail sales. Disney will be happy to discover that audiences misled the pollsters with an impressive $25.7 million on Friday. At this point, John Lasseter’s second run on the rack could make between $68-70 million for the three-day. Now, that’s called overperforming.
Also making a strong debut was the Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel comedy “Bad Teacher.” The R-rated comedy pulled in $12.1 million Friday and may gross between $30-32 million for the weekend. That’s huge for Diaz and a great sign that audience’s embracing female-driven comedies such as “Bridesmaids,” that aren’t just romantic comedies, might be a new trend.
In third, “Green Lantern” found $6 million, falling 72% from last week. The film’s total domestic gross now stands around $77 million.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.