Box Office: 'Lone Survivor' No. 1 Friday With $14.4 Million; 'Hercules' Stumbles

Peter Berg is back.

On Friday, the filmmaker's Navy SEALs drama, Lone Survivor, took in a stellar $14.4 million to top the North American box office, where it played especially well in America's heartland. In more good news for Universal, the patriotic-themed movie earned a coveted A+ CinemaScore.

Lone Survivor is now expected to gross $37.7 million for the weekend -- the second best opening of all time for the month of January, after Cloverfield ($40.1 million). Berg could use a hit after pricey miss Battleship, his last film.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster, Lone Survivor is based on Marcus Luttrell's memoir about four SEALs sent on a dangerous mission to Afghanistan. (Wahlberg plays Luttrell.) Universal is releasing Lone Survivor domestically and in select foreign markets. Emmett/Furla Films produced the $40 million pic, which was financed in part by Envision Films.

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Disney's holdover Frozen fell to No. 2 with $3.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $305.7 million. The animated hit is expected to earn in the $15 million range for the weekend.

Millennium Films' The Legend of Hercules, distributed in the U.S. by Summit Entertainment, followed with $3.08 million, a troubling number considering the movie's $70 million production budget. The sandle-and-sword pic, receiving a B- CinemaScore, is projected to earn only $8.5 million for the weekend.

The Wolf of Wall Street took in $2.7 million Friday to place No. 4, just ahead of American Hustle, which earned $2.6 million. Wolf's domestic total is $72.3 million, while Hustle's is $95.5 million. (The movie will cross the $100 million mark sometime over the weekend.) Wolf is expected to end the weekend at No. 3.

The pair of films are among a crowded pack of award contenders hoping for a boost on the eve of Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony, including John Wells' August: Osage County and Spike Jonze's Her, both of which expanded nationwide on Friday.

Osage County is out-performing expectations, grossing $2.2 million on Friday for a projected $7 million weekend. The dysfunctional family drama, from The Weinstein Co., is beating Her despite playing in far fewer theaters (905 versus 1,729).

Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, grossed $1.8 million Friday for an expected $5.5 million weekend, putting it at No. 11. The film received a B- CinemaScore.

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