'Back-up Plan' battles 'Losers' this weekend

Entering what studios are predicting to be a modest weekend at the domestic B.O., CBS Films’ romcom “The Back-up Plan” leads the pack at 3,280 locations, followed by Warner Bros.’ guy comedy “The Losers” at 2,936.

Meanwhile, Disney will hope to appeal to moviegoers’ green side, with Disneynature’s Earth Day launch of nature documentary “Oceans” at 1,206 engagements. Docu is a follow-up to the Mouse House’s first installment in the nature brand’s slate; “Earth” opened the same day last year with $8.8 million.

The frame’s new entries will face holdover titles, led by Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon,” entering its fifth frame. Soph sesh offerings like “Kick-Ass” and “Death at a Funeral” could also figure near the top.

In limited release, Screen Media will expand James Ivory’s “The City of Your Final Destination,” which posted a per-screen average of $24,401 at one location in its opening weekend, to 22 engagements in New York and L.A.

Among the weekend’s major players, insiders predict another photo finish race. The past two weekends have seen the frame’s top players switch positions, ending up within $1 million of each other. Studios say that with tracking skewed because of Paramount’s much-anticipated “Iron Man 2″ debuting in two weeks, the frame could see another B.O. shuffle.

“The Back-up Plan” is the second film for CBS Films after “Extraordinary Measures” topped out at a low-end $12.5 million. CBS Films had planned for “Back-Up” to be its inaugural release, but when the comedy wasn’t ready for a January release, distrib switched to “Extraordinary.”

“Back-up” tells the story of a single woman who decides to get pregnant, then meets her perfect man. Pic should appeal to femmes and hope to lure, the Latino fans of star Jennifer Lopez. Thesp’s most recent starring role was New Line’s romcom “Monster-in-Law,” which opened with $23.1 million in 2005.

Warner’s comicbook adaptation “The Losers” will play best with males under 25. The action comedy, starring Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, is about a team of former CIA agents targeting their would-be assassins. Rated PG-13, the film cost some $30 million and is expected to perform in low teens.

“Losers” targets a similar demo as last weekend’s top performer, Lionsgate’s “Kick-Ass.” The superhero actioner debuted with $19.8 million, narrowly edging out “Dragon’s” revised $19.6 million take.

Lionsgate hopes the film will gain steam among its core fanboy aud, driving word of mouth in subsequent frames. The laffer could see a 55% to 60% drop in its soph sesh, while “Dragon” continues to hold well during the mid-week and dropped only 21% last weekend.

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Date Night” held steady in its soph sesh, down 34% for a weekend take of $16.7 million, enough to claim the No. 3 spot.

On the international front, 3D holdovers should continue to boost profit for Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Warner’s “Clash of the Titans.” “Clash” earned $55.3 million for a cume of $189.7 million internationally, followed by “Alice,” which grossed $34 million, boosting its overseas totals to $503.5 million. “Clash” bows this weekend in major 3D market Japan.

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