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‘Lion King’ roars at Friday B.O.

'Drive' running No. 2 to Mouse's 3D toon re-release

Disney’s retrofitted 3D “The Lion King” came out of the gate strong to gross about $1.7 million thus far today.

B.O. observers predict the toon, originally released in 1994, will take in around $16 million-$18 million for the weekend.

While the pic came out strong out of the gate this morning, the numbers have simmered a bit, leading to some variation among B.O. observers in the three-day estimates for the pic. Nighttime shows will also not be as robust for the family pic, though it undoubtedly is benefitting from its nostalgic appeal to twentysomething auds.

FilmDistrict’s “Drive” is looking to follow “King,” having pulled in $550,000 as of this afternoon, Pic, with estimates hovering between $10 million and $12 million for its opening frame gross, will probably see a pop with nighttime auds.

The same can be said for Sony’s R-rated “Straw Dogs,” which has tallied some $200,000 thus far. Pic seems to be headed towards a $7 million first-frame gross.

The Weinstein Co.’s Sarah Jessica Parker comedy “I Don’t Know How She Does It” will probably perform a little more modestly than previous estimates, with observers putting the pic’s take at a little under $7 million. Pic has grossed about $300,000 as of this afternoon.

Warner Bros.’ “Contagion,” meanwhile, may see a 40%-45% drop in its second-frame holdover as it appears likely the film will earn about $11.5 million to $12.5 million this weekend.

(Andrew Stewart contributed to this report.)

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