The death of Miley Cyrus' "Hannah Montana" career have been greatly exaggerated.
Many in the media have been ready to take the tween skewing TV star off her perch following some questionable personal publicity moves and a disappointing debut to the film's soundtrack album last month. Friday's debut of "Hannah Montana: The Movie," the big screen version of the hit Disney Channel TV show, should silence all of those critics after it took in a mammoth $17.4 million.
Tracking showed "Montana" would perform somewhere in the low 20s for the weekend, so even Disney has to be surprised by the big Good Friday showing. Past Easter weekends have seen movie decline on Saturday and Sunday for family skewing films. However, considering how movies continue to outperform in this economic climate, "Montana's" final weekend total could land anywhere from $45-55 million.
Taking a bit of a hit, but still ruling the road, "Fast & Furious" pulled in a little over $10 million. It should end the weekend with close to $30 million. The question is whether "Furious" has the legs to make it to the magic $200 million threshold or whether new flick such as next weekend's "Crank: High Voltage" will affect its gross. It will be close for sure.
"Monsters vs. Aliens" fought into the top three with $9 million and should also do between $25-30 million for the weekend. DreamWorks Animation's only release in 2008 should total out a bit better than last fall's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" which made $180 million domestically.
Also opening was Seth Rogen's "Observe and Report." The dark R-rated comedy opened to only $4.75 million and should make between $12-14 million this weekend. The film will eventually find a cult audience on DVD and cable, but after the disappointing results of "Zach and Miri Make A Porno" (which can partially be blamed on incompetent marketing at the Weinstein Company) it is another sign that Rogen cannot open a movie on his own.
Here are the box office results for Friday according to Box Office Mojo. Final results will be posted Sunday on HitFix.
1. "Hannah Montana The Movie" - $17.4M
2. "Fast & Furious" - $10.5 M, $99.8M to date
3. "Monsters vs. Aliens" - $9M, $127 M to date
4. "Observe & Report" - $4.75M
5. "Knowing" - $2.37M, $63M to date
6. "The Haunting in Connecticut" - $2.35M, $54M to date
7. "I Love You Man" - $2.3M, $54M to date
8. "Dragonball: Evolution" - $2.0M,
9. "Adventureland"- $1.2M, $9.2M to date
10. "Duplicity" - $1M, $34.8M to date