TORONTO — Bradley Cooper–Zoe Saldana drama The Words is holding an edge over the competition at the Friday box office, but it remains to be seen whether it can edge past holdover The Possession for the weekend.
Early numbers suggest The Words could open in the $6 million to $7.5 million range, compared to $6 million to $6.5 million for Possession, which over-performed for Lionsgate last weekend with a $21.1 million debut.
CBS Films acquired domestic rights to The Words for $2 million at the Sundance Film Festival in January and expects it to play heavily to older females, possibly portending solid legs.
In the movie, Cooper plays a writer who pays the price for stealing someone else’s work. Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal make their feature directorial debut with The Words, which also stars Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes and Dennis Quaid.
The weekend’s other wide opener is Henry Cavill action pic In the Cold Light of Day, which could only reach $2 million in its debut. Summit and co-financing partner Intrepid Pictures had limited financial exposure on the film, between Spanish production rebates and foreign presales.
Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, Cold Light of Day follows a man whose family is kidnapped by intelligence agents during a weeklong sailing vacation in Spain. The agents are hellbent on recovering a mysterious briefcase, and the husband and father soon finds himself on the run.
Cold Light of Day, also starring Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Echegui and Bruce Willis, cost in the $20 million to $30 million range. Intrepid’s Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans produced.
Cooper and Willis also have high-profile films playing at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, which got underway Thursday night with the world premiere of Rian Johnson’s Looper, starring Willis opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Cooper stars in two films playing at the festival during the next week: Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines, which premiered Friday night.