Twentieth Century Fox will add to its “Avatar” onslaught with Dwayne Johnson kidpic “Tooth Fairy” opening wide at the domestic box office this weekend.
Also opening wide is Sony’s horror thriller “Legion,” toplined by Paul Bettany, and CBS Films’ inaugural offering “Extraordinary Measures,” starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser.
Entering its sixth frame, James Cameron’s “Avatar” continued to do strong midweek business Stateside and could very well muscle out the weekend’s openers. Pic earned $19.5 million through Wednesday, boosting its U.S. cume to $512.8 million.
On the specialty front, Fox Searchlight will aim to capitalize on two Golden Globe wins for “Crazy Heart,” including a trophy for Jeff Bridges’ dramatic turn as a washed-up country musician. Pic has grossed $2.4 million in limited release and expands to 93 engagements.
Fox’s “Tooth Fairy,” about a minor league hockey player who is sentenced to one week as a tooth fairy, opens in 3,344 theaters. Pic is tracking well with families and could benefit from Johnson in the lead role. Thesp’s similar kidpic, Disney’s 2007 “The Game Plan,” opened to $22.9 million.
Sony/Screen Gem’s R-rated “Legion” should face its toughest competition from Warner’s post-apocalyptic outing “The Book of Eli.” Pic opened to $32.8 million last weekend in the No. 2 spot behind “Avatar.” While Warner emphasized the action-thriller elements in marketing “Eli,” Sony has played up “Legion’s” horror aspects.
CBS Films’ first feature release, “Extraordinary Measures,” opens in 2,549 locations. Ford portrays a researcher who works with Fraser, who plays real-life dad John Crowley, to find a cure for the Crowley children’s life-threatening disease. Inspirational true story has been tracking well with women over 35.
Another femme-targeted pic, Paramount’s “The Lovely Bones,” put up surprising figures last weekend, earning $20.5 million from 2,563 theaters after a revamped marketing scheme. With a less-than-stellar limited run, Par decided to focus “Bones” at younger female auds.
At the specialty B.O., Samuel Goldwyn rolls out high-school drama “To Save a Life,” targeting the faith-based demo. Pic revolves around an all-star athlete who starts befriending high school losers after a school shooting. Opening at 441 locations, “Life” is from the producers of “Fireproof,” which grossed $33.5 million.
Newmarket will roll out in limited release its Charles Darwin biopic “Creation,” starring Bettany as Darwin and Jennifer Connelly as his wife. Pic is booked at seven theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and San Francisco.
On the foreign front, “Avatar” will likely continue to dominate. Last week, pic topped most territories, including China, Italy and France, and earned a foreign cume of $1.12 billion. Par’s “Up in the Air” saw a strong opening in the U.K. with $2.1 million from 325 screens and is set to bow in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.