Easter weekend also welcomes Rogen comedy
Easter weekend sees a trio of new wide releases at the domestic box office, but Universal holdover “Fast and Furious” is likely the one to beat.Widest opener is Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” which bows today in 3,118 runs. Warner Bros. opens dark comedy “Observe and Report,” starring Seth Rogen, in 2,727 theaters, while 20th Century Fox’s fantasy adventure “Dragonball Evolution” bows in 2,100-plus runs. Those pics, combined with holdovers, will make for a crowded frame, but “Fast 4″ is considered the front-runner, having opened to $71 million last weekend. DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s family title “Monsters vs. Aliens,” which has seen strong weekday biz, should also stay high up on the chart, although “Hannah Montana” will lure away tweens and young girls. Miley Cyrus’ concert pic “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” was a box office sensation, opening to $31.1 million in a limited 3-D run. Cyrus’ feature is expected to open closer to the high teens, but it could overperform. It’s tracking best among girls 7-13. According to MovieTickets.com, the top two tickets sellers for the weekend so far are “Monsters vs. Aliens” (30%) and “Hannah Montana” (29%). Based on the popular Japanese cartoon series, “Dragonball” will go after the family aud to some degree as well. Fox went against tradition, opening “Dragonball” first in Asia, where it has grossed $25.4 million since opening last month. In domestic tracking, “Dragonball” lags behind “Hannah Montana” and “Observe and Report.” Its overall gross should be boosted by a major expansion overseas. Pic goes into Australia, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the U.K. “Observe and Report” will seek to capitalize on its status as the only R-rated pic fresh in the market. Pic revolves around a deluded security mall cop who gets in a turf battle with local police. Directed by Jody Hill, it also stars Anna Faris, Ray Liotta and Michael Pena. Tracking indicates the movie could gross in the high teens. With only three weekends left before the start of the summer box office, Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” opening May 1, is picking up in tracking. According to a MovieTickets.com poll, 70% of male ticket buyers and 60% of female ticket buyers said they intend to see the tentpole on opening weekend. Fox has been concerned that the pirated copy of “Wolverine” leaked on the Web last week would hurt the pic’s box office grosses. At the specialty B.O., Screen Media Films opens Alec Baldwin drama “Lymelife” in four runs. Indican Pictures opens musical-comedy “Monster Beach Party” in two theaters. Documentary “In a Dream,” from Intl. Film Circuit, opens in one room in New York. Overture’s indie pic “Sunshine Cleaning” continues its expansion, adding 100 runs for a total theater count of 595. On the foreign front, “Monsters” will keep tapping the family demo, while “Fast 4″ further expands. Disney’s going into major markets this weekend with “Race to Witch Mountain,” opening in Australia, Germany and the U.K. “Witch” is early in its foreign run with $6 million so far. (Dave McNary contributed to this report.)
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