Box Office: ‘Never Say Never’ as Justin Bieber beats Adam Sandler Friday for no. 1

Justin Bieber has won the first battle, but will Adam Sandler win the war?

Silencing the naysayers and overperforming to pre-release polling, the 3-D concert film/documentary “Justin Bieber Never Say Never” pulled in an impressive $12.3 million on Friday.  That almost equals the entire opening weekend of 2009’s disappointing “Jonas Bros: The 3D Concert Experience” and, instead, is on track to hit the $30 million mark “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” grossed when it debuted in 2008.  “Never” also has the advantage of a 3-day holiday weekend with most kids having Monday off which should mean higher Sunday and Monday grosses.

Not far behind, however, was Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s “Just Go With It.”  The critically lambasted comedy found $9.7 million on Friday for what could be a $30-35 million 4-day.  That would be significantly lower than “50 First Dates” which found $39 million on the same holiday weekend in 2004.  The question is whether “Go With It” becomes a must see date movie on Saturday night and has a serious jump like “Dates” did seven years ago.

Elton John’s “Gnomeo and Juliet” did an O.K. $6.1 million Friday, but should get matinee bumps throughout the weekend and end up with $22-24 million.  

Debuting in fourth was the Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell adventure “The Eagle.”  Playing in only 2,296 theaters, the Kevin MacDonald flick found $2.75 million for what should be a $10 million four-day gross.

Last week’s number one film, “The Roommate,” took a hard fall to the fifth slot with just $2.6 million.  The Screen Gems thriller has found $20.2 million in just eight days.

Look for updated weekend box office totals tomorrow on HitFix.