Talk about hitting it out of the park!
The Jackie Robinson baseball drama 42 exceeded industry expectations on Friday, grossing $9.1 million during its first day in theaters. The film, a $40 million production from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, swung harder than other recent baseball flicks like Moneyball and Trouble with the Curve, which grossed $6.7 million and $4.2 million on their opening days, respectively.
Notably, 42 earned a rare “A+” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, thereby joining the ranks of fellow crowd-pleasers like The Help, Tangled, The Blind Side, and Titanic. Strong word-of-mouth should drive business on Saturday and Sunday – the film will likely earn about $27 million in its first three days – and also in the weeks to come. Warner Bros. just may have a grand slam hit on its hands.
In second place, Scary Movie 5 earned a paltry $5.5 million on its debut Friday. Not only did the film start its run with less than fellow horror spoof A Haunted House, which grossed $6.8 million on its first day in January, but it paled in comparison to franchise predecessor Scary Movie 4, which grossed $19 million in its first 24 hours. Scary Movie 5, which cost Weinstein’s Dimension $20 million, won’t earn that much in its entire debut weekend – perhaps $14 million for the frame.
The rest of the Top 5 was made up of holdovers from last weekend. Evil Dead managed another $3.2 million, putting it on pace for a $9.5 million frame. The horror film will likely top the animated hit The Croods, which took in $3.1 million on its fourth Friday and could earn $13 million. G.I. Joe: Retaliation grossed $2.9 million and should finish the weekend with about $10.5 million.
1. 42 – $9.1 million
2. Scary Movie 5 – $5.5 million
3. Evil Dead – $3.2 million
4. The Croods – $3.1 million
5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $2.9 million
Check back to EW tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter at @gradywsmith for more box office conversation throughout the week.