Box Office: ‘Cinderella’ spins family magic on Friday with $23 million

Walt Disney Studios has had tremendous success over the years bringing live action versions of some of its most popular animated films to the big screen.  Is anyone surprised then that “Cinderella” is already a smash?

The Kenneth Branagh adaptation of the classic fairy tale opened to a wicked $23 million on Friday for what could be a $70 million plus weekend.  That would make “Cinderella” the second biggest opening of the year after “Fifty Shades of Grey” which scored $85 million over its first three days last month.  “Cinderella” also earned a stellar A Cinemascore and positive notices from critics which should help with word of mouth over the next few weeks.  

Debuting far behind was the Liam Neeson thriller “Run All Night” with just $3.85 million.  The Warner Bros. release is expected to earn $11-12 million for the weekend. The muted reception for the Jaume Collet-Serra directed flick may be a telling sign that Neeson has dipped into the pseudo “Taken” well a little too often over the past few years.  

Will Smith's “Focus” took the third slot with another $1.7 million and $39.9 million to date.  It's still on track to earn over $50 million domestic.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” came in fourth earning $1.67 million and a stellar $102.8 million to date.  The Matthew Vaughn spy flick has earned $253 million globally and you have to imagine a sequel is already in the works.

“The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel” checked in at no. 5 with another $1.62 million and a $13.9 million in just 8 days.  “Marigold” should end up with over $18 million by EOD Sunday.

Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.