That narrowly bested the $1.3 million earned in 1,024 midnight runs by 20th Century Fox’s The Rise of the Planet of the Apes in August, as well as the $700,000 earned by Battle: Los Angeles in its midnight debut. Today, Immortals movs into roughly 3,100 locations, and is likely to have a strong Friday.
Tracking suggests a $25 million to $26 million opening weekend for Immortals, but the film could overperform if fanboy turnout stays strong. So far, Immortals is leading the Friday race over Adam Sandler’s new Thanskgiving family comedy Jack and Jill, which is in a close battle with thriving holdover Puss in Boots, from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount.
Very early returns show both Puss in Boots and Jack and Jill grossing in the low to mid 20 million range for the weekend.
The weekend’s third new nationwide entry is Clint Eastwood’s Leonardo DiCaprio starrer J. Edgar, which opened in five cities on Wednesday in a move designed to trigger reviews and build word-of-mouth. The movie, a biopic of the legendary F.B.I. chief J. Edgar Hoover, grossed $54,000 on Wednesday and another $46,000 on Thursday (theater traffic often dips on Thursday).
Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity, which fully financed and produced Immortals, is counting on fanboys to buoy the violence-laced R-rated film, a fantasy adventure along the same lines as box office hit 300. Immortals, a key test for Relativity, cost $75 million to produce after tax rebates.
Immortals scored high marks in test screenings, and also stars Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Freida Pinto and Luke Evans. The pic opens day and date in a number of key territories, including China (through Relativity’s co-venture with Skyland), Germany, Italy, the U.K., South Korea, Japan and South Korea.
Relativity insiders say Immortals only has to open to $25 million for the company to be on sound financial footing, since so much of the budget was financed through foreign presales.
Warner Bros. is projecting a $10 million to $12 million opening forJ. Edgar, which is in the wheelhouse for Eastwood’s films, although Friday matinees suggest the film could open higher. The biopic of the legendary F.B.I. chief also stars Armie Hammer.