Big first round for 'Monsters vs. Aliens'

'Haunting in Connecticut' finishes second Friday

"Monsters vs. Aliens" got off to a monstrous start on Friday, with an estimated $16.8 million in first-day domestic boxoffice.

That's sizeable enough to keep the 3-D animated feature well on track to ring up more than $50 million through Sunday. "Monsters" -- produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount -- is playing on about 7,000 screens in 4,014 theaters.

But the PG-rated pic is playing in 3-D on just over 2,000 of those U.S. and Canadian screens. So it was pretty impressive that early estimates had the 3-D venues accounting for just over half of the Friday grosses on "Monsters."

Two other movies also posted first-day figures.

Lionsgate's supernatural thriller "The Haunting in Connecticut" -- rated PG-13 -- seems to be performing in line with solid prerelease expectations. With $9.7 million in first-day coin, "Haunting" ranked as Friday's second-highest tally.
Fox's cop thriller "12 Rounds" rung up $1.8 million in sixth place on the day. The PG-13 pic was touted to open in the upper single-digit teen millions through Sunday, but "Rounds" won't make it into that range unless its Saturday coin piles much higher than the Friday grosses.

Summit Entertainment's "Knowing" was third among Friday grossers, with $4.7 million. "Knowing" topped the domestic boxoffice last weekend.