Who knew the summer would be saved by The Karate Kid? That may happen now that the Jaden Smith-starring remake has earned an estimated $19 million Friday and is now on target for a weekend gross that could reach $60 million. It’s surprising in that everyone expected The A-Team to win Friday night but Karate Kid to take the weekend. Instead the PG-13 rated A-Team may not cross $10 million for Friday night, putting its weekend gross at $27 million. That means The Karate Kid, with its $40 million budget and 2 hour and 20 minute run time, just crushed the $100 million-budgeted The A-Team. Yikes.
The rest of the top five is made up of holdovers, with Shrek Forever After grossing an estimated $4.5 million for a weekend that could reach $15 million. The R-rated Judd Apatow-produced comedy Get Him to the Greek earned another $3.3 million on Friday, a number likely to translate to $10 million for the three days. And the action comedy Killers with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher is likely to round out the five with a $2.8 million Friday that should become $8 million by the end of the frame.
This weekend is now on track to beat last year at this time when The Hangover, then in its second weekend of release, earned $32 million, and Pixar’s Up grossed $30 million in its third weekend of release. The Karate Kid victory will bode well for the struggling box office, especially as Toy Story 3 comes racing into theaters next weekend. Perhaps all the hand-wringing will prove to be overblown.