Prehistoric adventure opens Friday

Roland Emmerich’s prehistoric adventure “10,000 BC” is looking to hunt down some big game at the worldwide box office, with Warner Bros. banking both on Emmerich’s track record and the studio’s success with Zack Snyder’s ancient-Greek war epic “300″ on the same weekend last year.

Domestically, the film will have no trouble taking the weekend crown as it unspools in 3,410 theaters. Ultimately, it’s likely to do equally well — if not better — overseas, where auds have lapped up similar fare.

Also opening wide Stateside are Disney’s G-rated Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone family comedy “College Road Trip,” which is expected to do solid business as it opens in 2,706. Elsewhere, older males are showing interest in Roger Donaldson’s crime suspense “The Bank Job,” which Lionsgate is taking out in 1,603.

The specialty side sees a flurry of new limited releases, including Focus Features’ “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” Sony Pictures Classics’ “Married Life” and Warner Independent Pictures’ “Snow Angels.”

Most of Hollywood will be keeping their eyes on “10,000 BC,” the latest big-budget f/x spectacle from Emmerich, who enjoyed box office hits with pics such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Independence Day.”

New movie revolves around a hunter who discovers a lost civilization while pursuing a warlord who has kidnapped his wife.

Pic isn’t expected to match the domestic opening of “300″ — which grossed $70.9 million in its first weekend — but anything above $40 million would be a big win for Warners; last year, no one foresaw that “300″ would do such big business. That movie grossed $210.6 million domestically and $245.4 million overseas.

Only three films have opened to more than $40 million in March: “300,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown” ($68 million) and “Ice Age” ($46.3 million).

Many of Emmerich’s films have seen a large slice of their worldwide box office gross come from overseas. “Day After Tomorrow” grossed $186.7 million in North America and $356 million internationally. Will Smith starrer “Independence Day” grossed $306.2 million domestically and $510.8 million overseas.

Warners and Emmerich are relying on special effects and action, rather than big stars, to draw in moviegoers. Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis and Joel Virgel star in the film.

‘College’ plan

Disney is certainly counting on fans of Lawrence and Raven-Symone, a favorite among tweens, to buy tickets to “College Road Trip,” about a bumbling father who takes his daughter to visit colleges. The Mouse House pic should also be an African-American family draw because of its friendly G rating (most of Lawrence’s films have been rated PG or PG-13).

Tracking for “Road Trip” shows strong interest among girls and women under age 25.

Forecasters expect the “Road Trip” opening to be on par with that of Lawrence’s last film, “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins,” which bowed last month to a $16.2 million opening. To date, film has cumed $39 million.

Lionsgate has modest expectations for “Bank Job,” which stars Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows. Film is based on the real-life story of thieves who tunneled their way into a London bank and stole cases of jewelry. The precise valuables taken were never revealed, with the British government issuing a press gag order.

“Bank Job” is expected to gross about $6 million.

On the specialty side, Focus bows British romp “Miss Pettigrew,” starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams, in 536 theaters.

SPC’s Chris Cooper-Patricia Clarkson-Pierce Brosnan starrer “Married Life,” a crime drama, goes out in nine theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Warner Independent opens David Gordon Green’s drama “Snow Angels,” starring Kate Beckinsale, Michael Angarano and Sam Rockwell, in two theaters.

Other specialty debuts include Slowhand’s “Bar Starz,” which opens in 50 theaters; Eros’ “Black & White,” which plays in 30; and IFC’s “Paranoid Park,” which unspools in two.

Overseas business

On the foreign front, “10,000 BC” should dominate, with Warner Bros. going day-and-date in about half the major markets, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and Spain. German biz should be particularly brisk, given that native son Emmerich directed the actioner.

Pic should supplant recent leaders “Jumper” and French hit “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” at the top of the international charts. With expansions next frame in France, South Korea and the U.K., “10,000 BC” could repeat the success seen at this time last year by “300,” which topped $200 million in foreign grosses.

Oscar winner “No Country for Old Men” moves into Argentina, Denmark and Greece with $52 million banked overseas. “There Will Be Blood,” still early in its foreign run with nearly $20 million, goes into South Korea and South Africa.

Sony, which has been relatively quiet on the foreign front since last summer, is expanding “Vantage Point” into Japan and the U.K. after hitting $40 million overseas. Universal’s “The Other Boleyn Girl,” which opened in a few markets last weekend, debuts in Germany, Russia and the U.K.

Other openings include “Jumper,” which has hit $70 million overseas, in Japan; “27 Dresses” in Benelux and South Korea; “The Bucket List” in Russia; “The Spiderwick Chronicles” in Mexico; and “The Water Horse” in Russia and Spain.

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