Fear factor at the box office

'Nightmare,' 'Vengeance' open this weekend

Warner Bros. and New Line will hope to scare life back into what has been a slowdown at the domestic B.O., with its debut of horror reboot “A Nightmare on Elm Street” at 3,332 locations. Also entering the frame in wide release is Summit’s “Furry Vengeance” at 2,997.

Last weekend’s B.O. champ, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon” should continue to hold as the weekend’s widest 3D title. Toon dropped only 23% in its fifth frame for a weekend take of $15.4 million.

And while this week’s fresh offerings, along with top holdovers, still have a week until Par’s “Iron Man 2” makes its mark Stateside, the film bowed early in 54 territories

this weekend. The comicbook sequel already launched in six markets Wednesday, earning an estimated $2.2 million on 960 screens.

“Nightmare” marks the sixth offering in the lucrative horror franchise. The re-imagining, which stars Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger, revolves around the origins of the infamous killer. Pic is directed by Samuel Bayer.

New Line saw sizeable returns for its “Freddy vs. Jason” face-off, which opened in 2003 to $36.4 million.

Typically, scarers score hefty totals on Friday, with Warner expecting to earn about half of “Nightmare’s” weekend take today. Studio predicts the film will top out between $25 and $30 million.

Young women are leading the charge among those expressing definite interest, with men tracking slightly lower.

Summit will look to tempt younger auds with its PG-rated “Furry Vengeance.” Co-produced and co-financed by Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, pic stars Brendan Fraser as a real estate agent, who after threatening a habitat, enters into a fight with local forest animals. Budgeted at $35 million, the film targets similar family demos as “Dragon.” Participant Media’s first family fiction entry and maintains the environmental message of its earlier docus “The Cove” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”

CBS Films’ Jennifer Lopez-starrer “The Back-Up Plan” enters its soph sesh after a modest opening of $12.2 million. Pic drew strong interest from females, and will hope to maintain similar appeal this weekend. Warner’s action comedy “The Losers” also enters its second frame, having debuted with $9.4 million.

After its Earth Day bow last week, Disneynature’s docu “Oceans” has cumed $10.2 million. The docu debuted with a healthy $6.1 million at 1,206 engagements.

In limited release, Sony Classics rolls out dark comedy “Please Give,” directed by Nicole Holofcener and starring Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt and Amanda Peet. Pic, which screened at the Tribeca Film Fest this week, will open at five locations in New York and L.A.

Anchor Bay expands comedy “City Island” to 269 locations in 85 U.S. markets, making it the largest expansion for the distrib. Anchor Bay prexy Bill Clark credited a successful grassroots campaign as helping the niche release make it to $1.3 million.

Overseas, “Iron Man 2” should have no problem topping the B.O., with little competition from new entries.

Warner’s 3D “Clash of the Titans” will hope to improve in Japan after a disappointing $3.1 million launch. The 3D pic’s Japanese debut was trumped by an earlier 3D entry, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which grossed $10.2 million in its soph sesh.

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