Tracking may have shown "Love" in the air, but it turns out the box office gods were all-"Knowing" on Friday.
The Nicolas Cage thriller scored close to $9 million on its opening day and should rake in $24-26 million this weekend. If projections hold it will be a significant achievement for Summit Entertainment proving they can open a picture without "Twilght" in the title. It will also be a good weekend for Cage, who has had his ups and downs at the box office the last few years. The franchise sequel "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" aside, Cage hasn't had an opening this big since the superhero flick "Ghost Rider" over two years ago.
The Paramount/DreamWorks comedy "I Love You, Man" was expected to put up a stronger battle for No. 1, but 600 less theaters and a compelling NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament may have affected the R-rated comedy more than the studio expected. With $6.3 million on Friday, the Paul Rudd and Jason Segal comedy should deliver at least $18 million for the weekend and possibly a bit more based on word of mouth.
Also hinging on public opinion for its long term prospects is the Julia Roberts and Clive Owen romantic comedy/thriller "Duplicity." Already one of the best reviewed commercial films of the year, Tony Gilroy's follow up to "Michael Clayton" made $4.75 million on Friday. It should hit anywhere between $14-16 million for the weekend. Based on tracking, this is a tad disappointing after the picture appeared to be making a charge for the top slot. It also proves that even after a massive publicity push (something she hasn't done in years), Roberts star isn't what it used to be. If she wants to get her box office footing back she may be forced to jump on board a more conventional romantic comedy in the near future.
Here are the box office results for Friday according to Box Office Mojo. Look for complete weekend results Sunday on HitFix.
1. "Knowing," $8.95 million
2. "I Love You, Man," $6.3 million
3. "Duplicity," $4.7 million
4. "Race to Witch Mountain," $3.8 million, $35.5 million to date
5. "Watchmen," $2 million, $93.3 million to date
6. "The Last House on the Left," $1.97 million, $20 million to date
7. "Taken," $1.3 million, $130.3 million to date
8. "Slumdog Millionaire," $805,000, $135 million to date
9. "Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail," $795,000, $85 million to date
10. "Coraline," $630,000, $71 million to date