Two studios are breathing a sigh of relief this morning after more than satisfactory box office openings according to Box Office Mojo.
Walt Disney's Jerry Bruckheimer-produced family flick "G-Force" opened with a very fine $11.5 million at the box office for what should be anywhere from a $30-35 million weekend. Hollywood types were curious if the talking rodents picture could overtake "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" after soft industry tracking, but it appears the kiddies were looking to move on to something new and the mouse house has another solid hit this summer.
Sony Pictures is also smiling after the $10 million debut for the Katherine Heigl/Gerard Butler R-rated romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth." The picture also had its share of pre-polling problems and suffered from pretty negative reviews. With an estimated $28-30 million weekend, Heigl has now delivered her third hit in a row and solidified herself as a major box office force (at least in the rom-com realm).
In third place was "Harry Potter" with $9.3 million. The critically acclaimed sixth installment in the franchise could still overtake "Ugly Truth" for second place after today's matinees are taken into account, but with $201 million already in the bank, Warner Bros. isn't sweating it. Still, it's unclear where the film's ultimate gross will end up. Matching "Order of the Phoenix's" $292 million seems like a stretch, but $275 million isn't out of the question.
Opening in fourth was the Dark Horse thriller "Orphan." With $4.9 million, the thriller with a "secret" is looking at a $13 million weekend at best and a strong afterlife on DVD and cable.
Fifth place went to "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" with $2.5 million and a $165 million cume as its box office run slows down.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.