Friday Box Office: Late Night Surge Sends 'Sucker Punch' Past 'Wimpy Kid' Sequel for No. 1 Spot

"Sucker Punch"
"Sucker Punch"
 Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Warner Bros.' action-fantasy Sucker Punch pulled ahead of 20th Century Fox's sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules at the Friday box office, but the weekend will likely go to Rodrick Rules.

In a fortuitous sign for Rodrick Rules, the film earned an A- CinemaScore. It also succeeded in luring kids, with 50% of the audience on Friday under the age of 18. The pic skewed slightly male. Sucker Punch, which received a B- CinemaScore, played heavily to males.

Sucker Punch, directed by Zack Snyder, grossed an estimated $8.1 million from 3,033 theaters on Friday, while Rodrick Rules grossed an estimated $7.3 million from 3,167 locations.

The two films were in a dead heat until late night traffic on the West Coast boosted Sucker Punch's tally.

With Rodrick Rules expected to benefit from increased family traffic on Saturday and Sunday, the sequel has a strong shot at coming in No. 1. Friday's gross almost matched the $7.4 million earned by Diary of a Wimpy Kid on its first Friday. The original film opened to $22.3 million.

Sucker Punch has a strong shot at crossing $20 million as well. The film needs a strong start, since it cost $75 million to produce. Rodrick Rules' budget was much more modest at $18 million.

Relativity Media's Limitless and Lionsgate's The Lincoln Lawyer each held well in their second Friday.

Limitless, placing No. 3 on Friday after Sucker Punch and Rodrick Rules, fell 30% to an estimated $4.7 million from 2805 theaters for a cume of $30.7 million.

Lincoln Lawyer dropped 27% to an estimated $3 million for a cume of $21 million.

The weekend also will see two films -- Just Go With It and Rango -- become the first 2011 releases to cross $100 million.

Paramount's Rango placed No. 5 on Friday, grossing $3.6 million from 3,645 theaters for a cume of $99 million. Sony's Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Just Go With It grossed $475,000, putting the film on track to end the weekend with a cume of $100.2 million.

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