Anchorman The Legend Continues

Midweek start gives the sequel a jump on crowded pre-holiday frame

Ron Burgundy shot straight to the top Wednesday, with “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” earning an impressive $2.3 million from 8 p.m. and midnight showtimes.

The midweek jump start positions the sequel for a $10 million-$12 million opening day gross, which is significantly higher than what Paramount predicted originally. Concerning the film’s five-day expectations, there is still reason for caution, since fanboys inflated the late-night gross.

Most B.O. pundits expect “Anchorman 2″ to gross in the high-$40 millions in five days, with three-day predictions tracking in the low-$30 million range.

For a past comparison, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” bowed wide midweek in 2011, earning $2 million from midnights. That film, however, spent most of its fanboy build-up with an exclusive limited launch in Imax the week before. “Ghost Protocol” grossed nearly $30 million in three days, with $45 million in five.

“Anchorman 2″ enters a crowded frame, as well.

Warner Bros.-New Line’s “The Hobbit” holdover looks to display considerable staying power in its second frame, with three other wide releases — Fox’s “Walking With Dinosaurs,” Sony’s “American Hustle” and Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” — starting Friday.

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