Proving that if given enough eye candy, audiences still love another big disaster flick, “2012” opened to a colossal $23.7 million on Friday leaving all other releases in its wake.
Roland Emmerich’s third major “end of the world” flick after “ID4” and “The Day After Tomorrow” is looking at estimates of $60-65 million for the weekend in the U.S. alone. Thats a strong start for a picture rumored to have cost well north of $300 million. Luckily, besides “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” the potential blockbuster doesn’t have much competition at the box office until December to mine moviegoers pockets.
Providing a big “whew” to both director Robert Zemeckis and Walt Disney Studios, “A Christmas Carol” had a lower than expected drop for second place from its debut a week ago scrounging up another $5.6 million. The 3-D motion capture animated tale should find another $18 million for the weekend and along with strong mid-week numbers is showing signs it will have a long shelf life similar to Zemeckis’ “The Polar Express.”
The other big story of the weekend was yet again “Precious: Based on Push a novel by Sapphire.” The acclaimed drama had a historic debut on 18 screens last weekend and is continuing to impress in its first expansion. The Lionsgate release went to 174 screens and found almost $2 million for a fantastic $11,100 average. By the end of this weekend, Lee Daniels’ little film that could will have already made more at the box office than fellow Oscar contenders “Bright Star,” “A Serious Man” and “An Education,” all films that have been in theaters for over a month.
Another limited release also made some big noise in limited release on Friday. Wes Anderson’s “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” found $72,000 on only 4 screens in New York and Los Angeles for a $17,800 on just its opening day. The well received adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book has already made over $9 million in the U.K. Along with “Precious,” it has a major expansion on Thanksgiving.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.