Is "Black Swan" a box office sensation? More on that later, but two new theatrical debuts certainly weren't this weekend.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" opened to only $24.5 million, hardly the stellar opening Walden Media hoped for when they moved the franchise from Disney to 20th Century Fox. After a disappointing run for "Prince Caspian," Walden made sure "Voyage" was more magical and colorful in scope, but "Dawn Treader" opened to half of "The Lion, The Witch an the Wardrobe's" $65 million or "Caspian's" $55 million. Both companies will be hoping for extended play for the third "Narnia" throughout the holiday season and more lucrative international grosses.
Debuting tepidly in second was "The Tourist" with just $17 million. That's strikingly low for a thriller featuring the first on screen pairing between Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Even with negative reviews (that were mostly delayed to opening day), Sony Pictures had a tough time generating heat for the GK Films production. Lesson learned: no matter who the stars are, moviegoers won't throw down money for a movie that looks as boring as the "Tourist" materials made it out to be.
Slowing down a bit in third was Disney's "Tangled" with another $15million and a new total of $116 million. While the film has been a solid launch for Disney's beleaguered marketing division, the picture has an astronomical $260 million it needs to make up overseas and on DVD to at least break even.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1" fell to fourth and $8.4 million. The second to last "Potter" has $257.4 million so far and Warner Bros. expects it to top out at around $300 million, but that might be something of a reach at this point.
Fifth place found "Unstoppable" with another $3.8 million and a new cume of $74.3 million. More intriguing, however, was the sixth place finisher, "Black Swan."
Playing in only 90 theaters, the Darren Aronofsky thriller grossed $3.5 million for a stellar $38,888 per theater cume. The film is continuing to sell out as Fox Searchlight slowly expands across the country. With $5.8 million in limited release, the picture clearly has a chance to be the breakout hit Fox Searchlight hoped it could be.
Another awards contender, "The Fighter," debuted in four theaters with $320,000 or $80,000 per screen. That's the second highest limited debut of the year after "The Kings Speech" last month. The Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg drama expands nationally on Friday.
Look for updated box office weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.