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‘Obsessed’ tops Friday box office

Beyonce Knowles thriller opens with $11.2 mil

Beyonce Knowles hit No.1 yesterday — not on the music chart, rather the box office chart.

The songstress-thesp’s thriller “Obsessed” rang up an estimated $11.2 million of B.O. bling on Friday, making it the highest opening day for an April thriller and the second highest ever for a Sony-Screen Gems release. Previous opening day champ for an April suspense title belonged to 2007’s “Disturbia” which generated $8.8 million. The top opening day for a Screen Gems pic belongs to 2005’s “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” which banked $11.3 million.

Also starring Ali Larter and Idris Elba, “Obsessed” centers on a predatory office temptress (Larter) who sets her sights on ruining an investment banker’s life and marriage. “Obsessed” also marks the second highest opening day for Knowles, slotting behind her 2002 debut “Austin Powers in Goldmember” which grossed $26.5 million.

In terms of its hold on the No. 1. spot this weekend, “Obsessed” is irreplaceable. Stepping over three other wide releases yesterday, the thriller, playing at 2,541 theaters, is expected to easily clear the $22.2 million opening weekend posted by “Disturbia.”

Universal’s male-demo pugilist pic “Fighting,” featuring Terrence Howard and Channing Tatum, bowed to $4.5 million off 2,309 for second place.

Last weekend’s No. 1 teen comedy “17 Again” from Warner Bros./New Line fell 59% in its second Friday, grabbing $3.9 million off 3,255 for an eight-day domestic total of $32.2 million.

Paramount’s DreamWorks drama “The Soloist” which was originally set to bow late last year, took in an estimated $3.2 million off 2,024. The film is based on a series of L.A. Times columns written by Steve Lopez about Nathaniel Ayers, a musical prodigy who became schizophrenic and homeless. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Lopez and Jamie Foxx plays Ayer.

Rounding out fifth is Disney’s documentary “Earth” which drew $2.9 million from 1,804 after bowing Wednesday. In its three days of release, “Earth” has accumulated $8.5 million. Released under the Mouse House’s label Disneynature, “Earth” cashed in an impressive opening day for a non-concert doc on Wednesday with $4 million.

Friday touted a number of notable limited bows including Sony Classics’ James Toback’s “Tyson.” The doc, playing at 11 engagements in New York and Los Angeles, charted a solid per site average of $2,589.

Senator Distribution’s “The Informers,” based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel, posted $106,000 off 482. Set in Ellis’ staple 1980s Los Angeles, “Informers” touts an-all star cast including Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder and Kim Basinger.

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