Lionsgate's 'Bad' joins 'Sorority Row' at box office

Tyler Perry returns to the nation’s multiplexes in the first fall frame with Lionsgate’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” at 2,255 playdates in what’s likely to be his second No. 1 opener this year.

“I Can Do Bad,” based on Perry’s play of the same name, faces off against Summit’s slashfest “Sorority Row” at 2,665, Warner’s Antarctic thriller “Whiteout” at 2,745 and Focus’ animated sci-fier “9,” which debuted Wednesday with $3.1 million at 1,652.

Box office observers expect “Bad,” rated PG-13, to wind up between the high teens to mid 20s during what’s traditionally a slow weekend. In the year-ago frame, Perry’s “The Family That Preys” launched with $17.4 million, finishing a close second to “Burn After Reading” with $19.1 million.

Perry scored his top opening in February as “Madea Goes to Jail” bowed to $41 million, and his Madea character returns in “Bad,” a comedy-drama starring Taraji P. Henson as a lounge singer, Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight. In a sign that Perry’s fanbase has expanded, “Madea Goes to Jail” grossed more than $90 million domestically — the top figure in the seven-title Perry franchise.

The “Bad” launch is the widest for a Perry pic, topping the previous record from “Tyler Perry’s Family Reunion” with 2,194.

Feature toon “9,” from producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, has emerged as the weekend’s wild card with a Friday-Sunday total that could hit the low teens. Focus opted to open the PG-13-rated post-apocalyptic fantasy on Wednesday to take advantage of the 09-09-09 date as a marketing ploy; notices have been mostly positive, but animated fare not targeted to kids remains difficult to forecast in the current marketplace.

Summit is aiming “Sorority Row” — a remake of 1983’s “The House on Sorority Row” — at horror fans with school back in session. The R-rated pic, centering on an unseen killer exacting revenge, has forecasts ranging from high single digits to low teens.

Recent horror titles have shown moderate traction, with “Orphan” topping $41 million and “Halloween II” taking $27 million in its first two weeks.

“Whiteout” appears targeted at fans of whodunits and Kate Beckinsale, who stars as a U.S. marshal unraveling murders at the South Pole. Beckinsale was able to generate respectable returns in the first two “Underworld” entries, and trackers expect the weekend to wind up somewhere between high single digits and low teens.

Of the holdover fare, TWC’s fourth frame of “Inglourious Basterds” should lead the pack and cross the $100 million barrier during the weekend.

Specialty openers include Anchor Bay’s five-site launch of thriller “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,” starring Michael Douglas, and Disney’s documentary “Walt and El Grupo” at three. Oscilloscope docu “No Impact Man” opens in one theater each in L.A. and New York.

Roadside Attractions is expanding Anna Wintour docu “The September Issue” from 20 to 111 after grossing $521,129 in its first two weeks.

On the foreign front, “Final Destination” and “Inglourious Basterds” will likely battle for the top slot. “Basterds” has cumed $85 million outside the U.S. and launches in Poland.

Other international launches include “The Proposal” in Hong Kong and the U.K., “Up” in Greece and New Zealand and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” in Japan. “Wolverine” has grossed a solid $183 million internationally, $4 million more than its domestic cume.

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