Easter eggs on openers 'Scary,' 'Wild'
With most schools out Friday, Easter weekend is all about kids, as Dimension and Disney aim “Scary Movie 4″ at teens and the Mouse House targets toon “The Wild” at a younger set.Both films will get a boost domestically from Friday matinees, when 83% of kids are out of school. Fox’s “Ice Age: The Meltdown” will benefit as well in its third week, likely dropping much less than the 50% it experienced last weekend. That would put it in the high teens or low 20s, possibly competitive with “The Wild.” In other action this week, Fox Searchlight is taking “Thank You for Smoking” wide after a healthy $6.5 million cume in nearly four weeks of limited play. And Lionsgate is starting off the first Spanish-language pic under its deal with Panamax, “La mujer de mi hermano,” at 204 locations. “Scary Movie 4″ hits 3,602 playdates, the widest release yet for the young Weinstein Co., which took Dimension with it from Disney but split rights on existing franchises. Horror spoof is tracking very well with males and females under 25 and has a good shot of besting the $48.1 million bow in October 2003 of “Scary Movie 3,” which went on to cume $110 million. BVI is launching “Scary Movie 4″ day-and-date in Australia, Holland, Russia, Scandinavia and the U.K. The spoof franchise has performed respectably in foreign markets, totaling $300 million from the previous three pics. “The Wild” will likely be a distant second. An opening in the 20s seems likely, significantly lower than most recent studio toons, though Disney outsourced the animation and made it for much less than the cost of Fox’s “Ice Age: The Meltdown” or their own “Chicken Little.” Mouse House is opening the pic at 2,854 playdates. Overseas, it goes day-and-date in two dozen markets, including Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Mexico and Spain. Following an impressive $94 million weekend in 45 foreign markets, “Meltdown” will continue to dominate international business. The CG sequel took in $25 million on Monday and Tuesday to push its offshore cume to $182 million. “Meltdown” should easily eclipse the $206 million foreign total for the original “Ice Age” during this weekend, as it launches in Hong Kong, Turkey and the UAE. If “Thank You for Smoking” keeps up its winning ways, a gross in the mid- to high-single digits should be possible as it grows from 299 to 1,015 plays. “Mujer” is bowing in 20 cities with big Latino populations, including Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas and Houston, where marketing has been targeted to Spanish-language media. Lionsgate is hoping to expand the pic nationally within a few weeks. In limited release, Picturehouse is putting biopic “The Notorious Bettie Page” at 20 theaters. Miramax releases Brit comedy “Kinky Boots” at nine locations in Gotham, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lionsgate is bowing Sundance entry “Hard Candy,” about a teenage girl who turns the tables on a pedophile, at two theaters in New York and Los Angeles. (Dave McNary contributed to this report.)