Box Office: ‘Immortals’ cements itself in cinema history with $15 million Friday

The team at Relativity have finally opened a movie, but will it be enough to keep the independent studio moving forward?  Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals” found $15 million on Friday for what should be a $35-37 million weekend. The company claims the 3D adventure cost $110 million, but other sources have told HitFix the budget is slightly over $150 million.  Of course, playing the game of tax credits likely gets you somewhere in-between.  Even so, with negative reviews the painterly epic will have to hope from strong overseas returns to break even. 

On the other hand, “Immortals” appears to be the best debut for the company since “Limitless” found $18 million last April, but the studio has co-financed a number of big disappointments this year including “Battle Los Angeles,” “Anonymous,” “Tower Heist,” “Cowboys & Aliens” and “The Change-Up.”  It will hope for more profitable returns with Steven Soderbergh’s action flick “Haywire” in January.

Debuting in second place was Adam Sandler’s critically lambasted “Jack and Jill” with $9.9 million.  The latest comedy from Sandler and Dennis Dugan (classics such as “Just Go With it” and “Grown Ups”) should earn between $23-25 million for the weekend.  That’s at the low end of Sandler’s usual opening take which means hitting his customary $100 million mark isn’t a guarantee this time around (Sandler has starred in an astounding 12 films that have made over $100 million domestic).

With many kids out of school because of the Veteran’s Day Federal holiday, “Puss in Boots” had a strong Friday with $9 million and $92.3 million to date.  The DreamWorks Animation word of mouth wonder should easily pass the $100 million mark this weekend.  It faces stiff competition from “Happy Feet Two,” “Muppets,” “Hugo” and “Arthur Christmas” in the coming few weeks, but should at least match the $148 million “Megamind” made around the same time last year.

Dropping to fourth was Brett Ratner’s “Tower Heist.”  The now former Academy Awards co-producer had a hellish week and with just $4.9 million on Friday and $35 million in eight days “Heist’s” box office performance won’t turn things around. The heist caper is looking at finishing under expectations with around $80-85 million domestic when all is said and done.

Coming in a tad under pre-release polling is Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.” The Leonardo DiCaprio starrer opened to solid returns in limited release on Wednesday before expanding to 1,910 runs on Friday.  With just $4.3 million the biopic may find only $10-12 million for the three day.  Pre-release polling pointed to a debut higher than $15 million, but perhaps the mixed reviews made some adult moviegoers think twice about heading to the multiplex for this one.

Look for final weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.