Friday Report: Holdovers Rule, 'Courageous' Tops Weak Newcomers

by Ray Subers

October 1, 2011

Star-studded newcomers 50/50, Dream House and What's Your Number? all finished behind Courageous yesterday, which managed to attract a solid Christian audience on Friday. Still, even Courageous didn't have what it took to beat last weekend's leaders Moneyball, Dolphin Tale and The Lion King.

Moneyball took the top spot for the second Friday in a row, dropping 43 percent to an estimated $3.85 million for an eight-day total of $29.8 million. That decline was slightly worse than last year's The Social Network (40 percent) but a vast improvement over Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (53 percent). The Brad Pitt baseball flick should finish the weekend with around $12 million, which probably won't be good enough for first place over Dolphin Tale.

Dolphin Tale dipped a light 32 percent to an estimated $3.47 million, bringing its eight-day total to $26.7 million. Based on past similar movies, it should move up to first place by Sunday with a weekend take of roughly $14 million.

Even with its Blu-ray set for release on Tuesday, The Lion King (in 3D) still managed to attract a theatrical audience. The movie fell 46 percent to an estimated $3.3 million for a total of $72 million. Including prior releases, The Lion King has now made over $400 million, and it will pass Spider-Man ($403.7 million) sometime today to move in to the Top 10 all-time. It should also ultimately finish ahead of Moneyball this weekend with around $13 million.

With a strong estimated $3.1 million, Courageous looks like the big box office surprise this weekend. That debut is up on Fireproof's $2.3 million start on the same weekend in 2008, and it should translate to a $9 million opening weekend.

50/50 tallied an estimated $2.87 million yesterday, which is star Seth Rogen's second-worst opening day ever ahead of Zack and Miri Make a Porno ($2.19 million). The movie appears in line for a weekend gross in the $8-9 million range.

Dream House disappointed with just $2.66 million, or about even with last Fall's My Soul to Take but off from movies like Devil, The Fog and Dark Water. It looks like it will come in just under $8 million for the three-day frame.

What's Your Number? earned a paltry $2.05 million on Friday, which positions it as the big loser this weekend. That debut is a fraction of star Anna Faris's The House Bunny ($5.92 million), and the weekend gross should end up in the $5-6 million range.

Abduction and Killer Elite plummeted 56 and 55 percent, respectively, on their second Fridays. Abduction added $1.7 million for a total of $15.2 million, while Killer Elite earned $1.53 million for a total of $14.1 million.

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