'Watchmen' can't scale 'Witch Mountain'

Disney's family movie poised to win the weekend

Warner Bros.' "Watchmen" won't be back on top.

Instead, Disney's family adventure "Race to Witch Mountain" should race to the top of the domestic heap this weekend after ringing up an estimated $6.7 million on Friday, its first day in release.  The PG-rated Dwayne Johnson starrer should perform even more impressively over Saturday and Sunday thanks to matinee-fattened tallies.

Meanwhile, "Watchmen" seems to have hit the wall.

Even extracting its midnight grosses from a first-day comparison with the latest Friday, "Watchmen" dropped a huge 73% from its previous Friday tally in registering just $5.3 million over its eighth day in release. "Watchmen" cume reached $73.3 million through Friday.

Warners estimates "Watchmen" production costs at $120 million, though some industry insiders set the figure higher. Legendary Pictures and foreign-rights holder Paramount helped defray production expenses; Fox is in line for a cut of receipts following a court-supervised settlement of claims to distribution rights.

Elsewhere at the start to the boxoffice weekend, Universal's Rogue-produced remake of the 1972 horror pic "The Last House on the Left" also opened with more Friday coin than "Watchmen."

"Last House" fetched a solid $5.6 million over its first day in the marketplace. Horror pics tend to do better on Friday than Saturday, so it remains to be seen if the Uni pic can prevail over "Watchmen" to grab the boxoffice weekend's silver medal.

Fox Atomic's youth comedy "Miss March" posted a limp $877,500 over its first day in release. That represented an eighth-best tally among top Friday grosses.
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