Box Office: ’42’ hits a home run Friday grossing $9.1 million

A legend finally got his chance to shine on the big screen Friday and moviegoers made sure Jackie Robinson knocked another one out of the park.

Legendary and Warner Bros.’ “42” defied industry predictions and grossed $9.1 million on Friday. That should earn out to a $24-26 million weekend for the biopic of the baseball icon.  Written and directed by Brian Helgeland (“Payback”), “42” earned a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63 on Metacritic. More importantly, it got huge support from the African-American community who helped it defy initial projection of a mid teens debut.  With a budget of $40 million, this is the sort of start “42” needed to become a solid double or triple for Legendary who fully financed the picture.

Debuting with just $5.5 million was “Scary Movie 5.”  This installment of the comedy franchise didn’t include original stars Anna Faris or Regina Hall. Instead, the marketing campaign focused on popular comedian Kat Williams and cameos by Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen. Audiences were clearly not as interested this time around. At best, “Scary Movie 5” may hit $13-14 million for the weekend. For comparison’s sake, “Scary Movie 4” opened to $40 million in 2006. As with “Scream 4” last year, Dimension is proving audiences won’t always be suckered into seeing a lesser quality version of an old favorite.

Last weekend’s winner, “Evil Dead,” dropped to third with another $3.2 million and $35.2 million in just 8 days. That’s probably enough to green light a sequel. Especially as the horror remake cost just $17 million.

“The Croods” took the fourth slot with $3 million and $132.3 million domestically so far.  With little family flick competition until “Iron Man 3” opens on Man 3, “The Croods” could easily equal “Kung Fu Panda 2’s” domestic high of $165.2 million in 2011.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” came in fifth with $2.9 million and $94.5 million overall.  The much-delayed sequel won’t match the original’s $150 million take, but Paramount will definitely take it.

Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.