Box Office: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ faces little competition from ‘The Watch’

Studio executives are looking at this weekend’s box office to see if there will be any continuing effects on moviegoer attendance following the shooting at a “Dark Knight Rises” screening just over one week ago. While pollsters say there is still a segment who are staying away for now, Friday’s box office will also fall victim to big ratings expected for NBC’s broadcast of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Easily holding on to the top spot is the aforementioned “Rises” which pulled in another $18 million for $243 million in just 10 days. That’s certainly behind the $261.4 million “The Dark Knight” had at the exact same juncture of its release in 2008, but Warner Bros. is obviously hoping the audience that was desperate to see it before the shooting will slowly return over the course of a relatively uncompetitive July and August release schedule. That being said, the studio is likely hoping to just clear $400 million domestic at this point and hit the $1 billion mark globally.

The first disappointing debut Friday is “Step Up Revolution.” The fourth film in the “Step Up” franchise grossed just $4.8 million for what should be a $12-13 million three-day. That would actually be the lowest opening in the series under “Step Up 3’s” $15.8 million just two years ago. “Step Up 3’s” performance was so discouraging, it actually convinced Summit Entertainment to take back domestic control of the franchise from Walt Disney Studios. Clearly, interest in the franchise is significantly less without the involvement of Channing Tatum who appeared in the first two installments.

Perhaps more shocking is the third place opening of 20th Century Fox’s “The Watch.” The R-rated comedy stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, but grossed a paltry $4.5 million on Friday for what could be a $12-13 million weekend. “The Watch” looks like it will be the worst opening for Stiller since 2007’s “The Heartbreak Kid” and Vaughn’s second misfire since Ron Howard’s “The Dilemma” bombed last year. Fox clearly couldn’t communicate the alien subplot, the raunchy humor or just make it look legitimately funny to moviegoers.

Rounding out the top five were “Ice Age: Continental Drift” with $4 million and $105 million to date and Seth McFarlane’s “Ted” with another $2.2 million and $188 million to date.

Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.