With some of director Tony Scott’s best reviews in years, “Unstoppable” dominated the box office on Friday with strong, but not spectacular $8.1 million.
Based on expected good word of mouth, that should put the Denzel Washington and Chris Pine thriller on a trajectory for anywhere between $23-25 million weekend. In comparison, that’s right on par with Scott’s last Washington collaboration, “The Taking of Pelham 123,” which found $23 million in June 2009. 20th Century Fox is hoping, however, for a much longer shelf life than the $65 million “Pelham” ended up with. It’s also unclear whether “Unstoppable” will even win the weekend based on what last week’s champ, “Megamind,” does on Saturday.
The DreamWorks Animation comedy grossed a very close $7.9 million on Friday, but is expected to have a big Saturday jump thanks to kid friendly matinees. If that’s the case, it could easily surpass “Unstoppable” in the same $23-25 million range for the 3-day frame. Still, the drop from last weekend has to be disappointing for DreamWorks. With strong competition arriving from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1” on Friday, “Megamind” will still be hard pressed to break $160 million at the box office which is not what DreamWorks investors are looking for.
Dropping significantly in the third slot was Todd Phillip’s comedy “Due Date” with another $5.5 million. After eight days, the Warner Bros. release has grossed $49 million. Good, but not great considering the flick’s reported $65 million budget.
Debuting in fourth was “Skyline” with just $4.7 million. The low-budget sci-fi flick proved that without some starpower end of the world special effects only get you so far. At best, the flick could end up with between $11-12 million for the weekend
Fifth place belonged to Rachel McAdams’ “Morning Glory.” The romantic work comedy found just $3.1 million on Friday after tepidly debuting on Wednesday. After three days the J.J. Abrams produced picture has just $5.7 million in the bank and is looking at just $9 million for the weekend. It’s a rare misstep for Paramount Pictures who couldn’t generate much heat around the film’s debut.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.