Box office: ‘Warm Bodies’ heats up Friday with $7.5 million debut

Friendly zombies took over the box office Friday night as the new film “Warm Bodies” clawed its way to the top spot, earning $7.5 million on its opening day. Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone’s new film “Bullet in the Head” was dead on arrival. 

The undead romance “Bodies,” starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer is on its way to a handsome haul of between $18 and $20 million for the weekend, a fairly impressive feat because of competition from the Super Bowl. They certainly aren’t “Twilight” numbers, but “Bodies” is nonetheless off to a solid start and many critics seem to approve as well. 

In distant second was the adult fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” with $2.9 million. The film, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, has so far grossed $28.1 million.

David O. Russell’s Oscar-nominated film “Silver Linings Playbook” continues to pull in enviable numbers. It earned another $2.4 million on Friday. It stands at $74.6 and could continue to be a big earner if it performs well on Oscar night. 

The inexpensive, Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film “Mama” continues to thrive, scaring up another $2.3 million, and bringing its domestic total to a hearty $53.8 million. 

Opening at No. 5, “Bullet in the Head” is the latest R-rated action film from an “Expendables” vet to flop in its debut weekend, following the box office duds “The Last Stand” (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and “Parker” (Jason Statham). “Bullet” earned just $1.7 million, for a projected weekend haul of only $5 million. 

In limited release, the comedy “Stand Up Guys” — starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin — opened in 659 theaters and earned a disappointing $528,000. 

Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.