'The Roommate' Tops 'Sanctum' for Friday Box Office Crown

8:27 AM PST 02/05/2011 by Pamela McClintock
Sony

Screen Gems is back in good form with thriller The Roommate, which easily beat Universal/Relativity’s 3D Sanctum at the Friday box office in grossing an estimated $6.4 million from 2,534 screens.

Sanctum, executive produced by James Cameron, grossed an estimated $3.6 million from 2,787 runs, including more than 2,000 3D runs. The Australian adventure-thriller also is playing in 178 Imax theaters.
 
Roommate is looking at a weekend gross of $15 million or more, a strong start for the female-driven pic, which stars Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester. The movie, which cost a modest $16 million to produce, is the first film in weeks to draw a younger crowd. Of the audience, 73% were under the age of 25, helping to explain the film’s strength.
 
Otherwise, the box office remained sluggish. Bad weather in the South didn’t help, while Chicago is still digging out from the Groundhog blizzard.
 
Universal and Relativity Media, which partnered in paying $12 million for distribution rights to Sanctum, knew going into the weekend that the film would have a soft debut, despite Cameron’s involvement and higher-priced 3D tickets. Roughly 80% of the audience was over the age of 25.
 
Sanctum received a C+ CinemaScore; Roommate, a B-.
 
Sanctum is looking at a weekend opening gross of north of $8 million, which would put it at No. 2.
Paramount holder No Strings Attached came in No. 3 on Friday, declining just 33% from the previous Friday to gross an estimated $2.9 million from 3,050 theaters for a cume of $46.3 million.
 
Among Oscar frontrunners, the Weinstein Co.’s The King’s Speech placed No. 4, grossing an estimated $2.3 million from 2,584 runs for a cume of $78.1 million. The film -- which will jump the $80 million mark Saturday -- declined only 19% from the previous Friday.
 
Warner Bros.’ commercial entry The Rite fell a steep 63% in its second Friday, grossing an estimated $1.9 million from 2,985 theaters for a cume of $20 million. The Anthony Hopkins starrer came in No. 5.
 
CBS Films’ The Mechanic and Sony’s The Green Hornet virtually tied for No. 6, each grossing an estimated $1.8 million. 
 
Paramount and Skydance Prods.’ True Grit jumped the $150 million mark on Friday, grossing an estimated $1.4 million from 2,902 theaters for a cume of $151.7. It’s one of the best showings ever for a Western. The film placed No. 8.
 
Like King’s Speech, True Grit had a narrow drop, thanks to the boost from Oscar nominations. The Western fell 27% from the previous Friday. Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan came in No. 10 on Friday, dipping 24% to an estimated $1.1 million from 1,977 theaters for a cume of $93.6 million.
 
The Fighter, from Paramount and Relativity, came in No. 11, dipping just 11% from the previous Friday to an estimated $900,000 from 1,662 theaters for a cume of $80.5 million.
 
Searchlight’s 127 Hours, which relaunched in theaters after picking up multiple Oscar noms, came in No. 12, grossing an estimated $450,000 from 899 locations for a cume of $14.8 million.
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