Box Office Report: 'Moneyball' Tops Friday, But 'Dolphin Tale' Projected to Win Weekend With $15 Million

Sony Pictures

Faith-based film "Courageous" beats the weekend's three new films in a surprise upset.

Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ family pic Dolphin Tale is headed for first place in its second weekend with $15 million, followed by fellow holdovers Moneyball and The Lion King.

But the biggest surprise of the weekend is the strong performance of Sherwood Pictures and TriStar’s faith-based movie Courageous, which grossed $3.1 million on Friday and is looking at an opening weekend gross of $9 million — besting the three other new films, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen's cancer dramedy 50/50, Anna Faris-Chris Evans R-rated comedy What’s Your Number? and the Daniel Craig-Rachel Weisz horror pic Dream House.

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Courageous, about four police officers who grapple with their faith, is playing on only 1,161 screens, a fraction of the number of its competitors. It received a glowing A+ CinemaScore, as did Dolphin Tale last weekend.

Moneyball, Sony’s critically acclaimed Brad Pitt baseball drama, topped the Friday box office with $3.9 million, followed by Dolphin Tale with $3.5 million and Disney’s Lion King with $3.3 million.

Dolphin Tale is widely expected to pull ahead over the weekend, while Moneyball and Lion King are expected to vie for No. 2 with grosses in the $12 million range.

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Morgan Creek’s Dream House opened to No. 5 on Friday with $2.9 million, and is on course to gross $8 million for the weekend. The movie, which Universal is distributing, received a B CinemaScore.

50/50, from Summit Entertainment, opened softer than expected, considering it is a critical darling and received an A- CinemaScore. The movie grossed $2.87 million to all but tie with Dream House, but Summit expects it to pull overtake Dream House with a weekend gross of $8.6 million.

What’s Your Number?, from Fox and New Regency, trailed with an even softer Friday opening of $2.1 million. The pic is now only expected to gross $5.5 million to $6 million for the weekend.