Most critics raved, some fumed, but what turned into a late controversy over Chloe Moretz's portrayal of Hit Girl didn't seem to affect "Kick-Ass" at the box office on Friday. The adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.'s indie comic book found a satisfactory $7.5 million on its opening day. The R-rated thriller is looking at anywhere from $18-20 million over the weekend. That's a bit disappointing considering many competing studios expected "Kick-Ass" to open in the $30 million range, but considering the subject matter and lack of starpower, it may not be that bad in hindsight. The question is whether Matthew Vaughn's flick will have any staying power with "The Losers," "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Iron Man 2" all opening over the next three weeks. That's one battle you might need to be at least Batman or Wolverine to come out on top of.
Much more discouraging was the opening of Screen Gems' "Death at a Funeral." The picture had been tracking at anywhere from $20-22 million for the three-day, but after Friday's $5.5 million it will be lucky to hit $16 million. Studios constantly say they don't believe in reviews, but this might be one case where critics opinions just weren't strong enough to pull in those on the fence about this Chris Rock ensemble comedy.
"Date Night" was also estimated at $5.5 million for Friday. The Tina Fey/Steve Carell comedy had a good hold and could do anywhere from $15-17 million for the weekend. In just eight days, the 20th Century Fox release has grossed $37.4 million.
Fourth place went to "Clash of the Titans" which fought for another $4.3 million and a $121 million so far. At this pace, it's looking like "Titans" will top out just over $160 million domestic. Not amazing for Warner Bros., but not the downer "Watchmen" was either.
"How to Train Your Dragon" rounded out the top five with another $4.2 million. If Saturday matinees continue to play strongly, the DreamWorks Animation favorite could gross another $15.5 million for the weekend. As of Friday, its U.S. cume is at $142.8 million.
Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.