Two different audiences were courted at Friday's box office and both should have come away plenty satisfied.
The latest instant classic from the Pixar stable, "Up," opened in conventional and 3D theaters across the country to approximately $21.4 million. If the traditional performance of Pixar's CG blockbusters holds to form, the picture should gross at least $60 million this weekend. That's the second biggest opening day for a animated film for the Walt Disney Company behind "WALL-E's" $23 million last year. Considering this film is about a senior citizen and a kid stowaway traveling to South America looking for adventure, it's just another example that the Pixar brand is showing now signs of wear and tear with moviegoers.
Off 52% from the week before was "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" with $7.4 million. The family friendly flick was no doubt hurt by the opening of "Up," but is on track to cume between $20-25 million for the three day frame.
Third place went to Sam Raimi's critically acclaimed return to horror "Drag Me to Hell." The Alison Lohman and Justin Long thriller grossed $6.4 million and should finish close to $18 for the weekend assuming word of mouth is as good as expected.
Fourth place went to "Terminator: Salvation" which grossed $5.1 million. The McG reboot will be lucky to finish with $15.1 for the weekend. Unfortunately, at this pace, matching "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine's" $150 million domestic gross it out of the question. It's nine-day run is now at $79.6 million.
Noteworthy for those in summer box office pools, "Star Trek" became the first release from 2009 to hit $200 million yesterday after grossing $3.6 million.
Look for final weekend numbers tomorrow on HitFix.