Friday Report: 'Devil Inside' Scares Up Huge Debut

by Ray Subers
The Devil Inside

January 7, 2012

The Devil Inside got the year off to a great start with a massive $16.85 million debut on Friday. Add in solid Christmas holdovers and the Top 10 earned an estimated $42.7 million yesterday, which is up an enormous 61 percent from the first Friday of 2011. Perhaps more impressive is that it's about even with the same Friday in 2010, which was when Avatar was still driving unusually high results.

The latest entry in to the always-popular supernatural horror genre had the second-best opening Friday in January history behind Cloverfield ($17.2 million), and the third-best debut for its genre behind the last two Paranormal Activity movies. The audience was 54 percent male and 59 percent under the age of 25, and their opinions were sharply divided. According to distributor Paramount Pictures, 16 percent of viewers gave The Devil Inside an "A" CinemaScore, while 19 percent went the opposite way and slammed it with an "F". It's hard to say specifically how this will affect the movie, but supernatural thrillers tend to be extremely front-loaded regardless. Even if the movie does crash hard, though, it should still wind up with at least $35 million for the weekend, which would rank as one of the highest January debuts ever.

After leading the box office for 16 days in a row, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol had to settle for second place on Friday. The movie dipped 42 percent to an estimated $6.2 million, and is so far the top-grossing December 2011 release with $155.9 million.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows fell 44 percent to an estimated $4.3 million on Friday. That brings the movie's total to $147.6 million, and it will pass $150 million sometime today. Through 22 days in theaters, the second Sherlock Holmes movie trails the first one by just over $25 million, though it has been steadily closing that gap for the past few weeks.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo eased a light 34 percent to $3.5 million, and the thriller has so far earned $69 million. Steven Spielberg's War Horse rounded out the Top Five by falling 45 percent to $2.6 million for a total of $50.8 million.

After four weeks in limited release, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy expanded in to 809 locations on Friday and finished in ninth place with an estimated $1.72 million. The espionage thriller has now grossed $6.4 million, and should be close to $10 million by the end of the weekend.

Related Stories:
Weekend Forecast: 'Devil Inside' Tries to Exorcize 'M:I-4'

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, January 6, 2012

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New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 7/16 (32 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/11 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/10 (38 tracked)