Fox's sci-fi thriller holds slight edge over 'Madagascar 3' on Friday

Starkly differing demos have pitted Fox’s “Prometheus” and Paramount/Dreamworks’ “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” in close competition to conquer the weekend B.O.

Currently, “Prometheus” is holding a slight edge over “Madagascar 3″ with $21.4 million to the latter’s $20.5 million. Both are boosted by 3D surcharges, but “Prometheus” received an extra little push with a surprisingly high late night Thursday haul of $3.56 million.

“Prometheus” may be in the lead now, but that could easily change before Sunday. Family films are more likely to see Friday-to-Saturday upticks as parents prefer to take their kids to Saturday matinees over Friday primetime playings. Conversely, pics with appeal in the 18- to 34-year-old range tend to do their best business Friday nights. Fox will need favorable word of mouth from that Friday crowd to maintain its lead.

Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” fell to third with $7.5 million. This reps a disconcertingly high 63% drop, though Friday-to-Friday comparisons aren’t always indicative of a film’s three-day percentage drop. “Huntsman” has cumed $83 million to date, and is headed for a weekend in the low- or mid-$20 million range.

Sony’s “Men in Black 3,” earned $4.2 million on its third Friday, while Disney’s “The Avenger’s” grossed $3.3 million on its sixth for a cume of $564.3 million.

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