Sony remake tracking with $30 mil upside; 'Dark Knight' staying afloat

Having already raised more than $311 million domestically, Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is poised to nab its third straight domestic weekend win, tracking ahead of Sony’s pricey sci-fi remake “Total Recall” and Fox’s family outing “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.”

The Batman finale could feasibly drop around 45% from last week’s soph sesh, for a three-day gross in the mid-$30 millions. “Recall” should land between $25 million and $30 million, while “Dog Days” — Fox’s third adaptation from the popular kid-book series — is expected to hit $15 million through Sunday.

Debuts could be higher based on strong mid-week business for “TDKR,” however. Overseas, “Dark Knight Rises” has cumed north of $250 million, playing in 54 markets. Though it’s waiting on a release date in China, pic already has been released in most major markets, including the U.K., which has contributed the most, at $47.9 million through July 29.

“Total Recall” launches day-and-date in some smaller Asian markets, before largely kick-starting its overseas rollout (lasting throughout August) next weekend in countries like Japan, Mexico and Russia. Tracking for the remake has been strongest in Latin America and Europe.

Sony will rely heavily on “Recall” working internationally. That’s because the film cost $125 million (not including marketing) and a six-digit domestic finish would be difficult to achieve if the film’s $25 million-plus opening comes true. Moreover, Universal’s “The Bourne Legacy,” which moved to next weekend to avoid a head-to-head battle with “Recall,” still will provide direct competish among men.

Re-worked from the 1990 original, “Total Recall” tells the futuristic story of a factory worker (Colin Farrell) who finds himself on the run after realizing he may be a spy.

It’s difficult to gauge enthusiasm for this version based on the original. The first “Recall,” which toplined Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, opened in June with $25.5 million and wound up cuming $119.4 million domestically — the sixth-highest grossing release that year. Rialto Pictures will re-release the original starting Aug. 10 for a limited engagement at New York’s Film Forum, before expanding to other markets.

Fox, meanwhile, should be able to attract “Diary” fans more easily, as it’s the franchise’s first summer release. The previous two pics launched mid-March; the original bowed in 2010 to $22 million, while “Rodrick Rules” grossed $23.8 million during opening weekend the following year.

Though pre-weekend tracking suggests a more modest opening for the three-quel, the film could see a higher upside based on a three-week absence for fresh family fare. “Dog Days” also bows this weekend in five overseas markets, including Italy and the U.K.

Strong mid-week business is good news for the new entries, especially after last weekend’s slightly deflated Friday, a result of the Summer Olympics and residual hesitance among moviegoers after the Aurora, Colo., shooting.

This weekend’s specialty newcomers include Sony Pictures Classics’ Sundance comedy “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” which bows today at six locations in the U.S. and Canada. Also opening limited is Fernando Meirelles’ ensemble drama “360,” starring Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Magnolia Pictures is distributing domestically.

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