Lionsgate hopes to kick ass and take names this weekend at the domestic B.O. with its debut of superhero comicbook comedy “Kick-Ass” at 3,065 locations. Also aiming for a not-so-somber mood among moviegoers is Sony’s Neil LaBute-directed “Death at a Funeral” at 2,459 engagements.
Both films enter a crowded frame of heavyweight holdovers, including 3D giants “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Clash of the Titans,” as well as 20th Century Fox’s laffer “Date Night” in its soph sesh.
In limited release, Roadside Attraction’s social satire “The Joneses,” starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny, will launch at 192 locations. Roadside acquired the Derrick Borte-directed feature debut last November after a successful bow at Toronto. Pic also screened at ShoWest.
“Kick-Ass” received early bows overseas in territories like Australia and the U.K., cuming $12.9 million as of last weekend, and will continue its steady rollout in France and Germany next week.
Lionsgate said it expects the film’s solid playability overseas to translate Stateside. Pic previewed at last year’s Comic-Con to heavy praise among its core fanboy aud.
Based on the comicbook by Mark Millar, “Kick-Ass” tells the story of an average teenager who dons a superhero persona. The R-rated pic was directed by Matthew Vaughn, who also co-scripted with Jane Goldman.
Lionsgate acquired the rights to “Kick-Ass” in early August after the pic was passed over by most studios. Studio said the film is tracking best among males under 25, but could break out among broader demos given potential for strong word-of-mouth.
Still, the comedy’s controversial dialogue, especially from the 11-year-old character Hit-Girl, played by Chloe Moretz (“500 Days of Summer”), may be too much for some adult moviegoers. Critic Roger Ebert called the film “morally reprehensible,” while others have been swayed by the pic’s edgy comicbook representation.
Along with Moretz, pic stars Brit thesp Aaron Johnson (“Nowhere Boy”), with a cameo from Nicolas Cage.
Sony could benefit from counterprogramming with its launch of “Death at a Funeral,” which could draw laugh-seeking auds beyond the African-American target demo.
Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Zoe Saldana star in “Funeral,” a remake of the 2007 British laffer centering around the death of a family’s patriarch and his riotous funeral.
MGM launched the original “Funeral” in limited release, with $1.3 million at 260 locations. The film went on to gross a modest $8.6 million domestically, but saw a more robust performance overseas, earning $35.7 million.
Appealing to a similar demo, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry comedy “Why Did I Get Married Too?” enters its third frame after dropping 62% last weekend, with $11 million at 2,155 locations. “Married Too?” has cumed $50.2 million as of Wednesday.
Also aiming for a solid repeat performance is Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s “Dragon,” with a total haul of $137.4 million. Last weekend, the toon slipped a mere 14%, with 3D boosting the $24.9 million take by 64%. Solid mid-week figures should help as the toon enters its fourth frame.
“Dragon” landed in a three-way race last weekend, alongside the debut of “Date Night” and Warner Bros.’ “Clash of the Titans.” “Clash” ended up in the top spot, claiming $26.7 million, compared to “Date Night’s” $25.2 million take.
The 3D titan earned an even split between the two formats, cuming $115.6 million through Wednesday; “Date Night” has earned a total of $30.4 million.
Specialty distrib Sony Pictures Classics rolls out its Argentinian foreign-language Oscar winner “The Secret in Their Eyes” on 10 screens in New York, L.A., Boston and Washington, D.C.
Sony Classics also reps foreign-lingo Oscar noms “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet,” which have grossed $2.1 million and $1.7 million, respectively.
Also in limited release, Screen Media launches the long-delayed James Ivory pic “The City of Your Final Destination,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney. Distrib bought rights to the film in early January, and will release the film in New York before expanding to L.A. next week.
Overseas, “Clash” continues to slash its way to the top of the frame, taking in $54 million on more than 7,000 screens in 54 territories. With an international cume of $118.7 million, the 3D film will add Italy and Mexico to its overseas roster.
Fellow 3D holdovers, “Dragon” and Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” should see a boost with key additions on the international front. “Dragon” launches in India, while “Alice” bows in Spain and in Japan, which is well-equipped with 3D screens.