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Moviegoers gave a big, warm hug to Disney/Pixar’s “WALL-E” on its opening day Friday. But even as the G-rated animated movie topped the day’s boxoffice returns, Universal’s R-rated “Wanted” gave it a run for its money, as the action pic roared out of the gate with a powerful second-place showing.
Setting up shop in 3,992 theaters, “WALL-E,” a futuristic tale of robot-love that had critics across the country swooning, took in an estimated $23.2 million for the day. That puts it on track for an opening weekend gross that¹s sure to be in the high $60-million range.
And with enough kiddies storming the matinees and critic-driven adults taking in the evening screenings, there’s even the possibility that “WALL-E,” directed by Andrew Stanton, could challenge the all-time best Pixar openers, “The Incredibles” ($70.4 million) and “Finding Nemo” ($70.2 million).
Meanwhile, even though it labored under the restriction of its R-rating, “Wanted,” in which James McAvoy¹s everyman mixes it up with assassins played by Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, beat the odds, grabbing an estimated $19 million in 3,175 theaters. That puts the film on a trajectory for a weekend gross in the upper $40 million to lower $50 million range, and by Monday morning should make its director Timur Bekmambetov the new go-to action guy in Hollywood.
As for the holdovers, Warners’ “Get Smart,” entering its second weekend, grossed about $6.6 million on Friday, down just over 50% from its opening Friday gross of $13.4 million.
Despite competition from “WALL-E,” DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda,” in its fourth weekend, hung on in fourth place with a Friday haul of $3.5 million.
Paramount’s “The Incredible Hulk” rounded out the top five with its Friday gross of $2.9 million, as “The Love Guru” limped into sixth place with $1.9 million.
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