Believe in the power of the Efron!

"17 Again" is Zac Efron's first leading man role without the help of the "High School Musical" brand and the 21-year-old celeb blog favorite lived up to the hype as a potential superstar.  "17 Again" had a very strong $9.4 opening day and the New Line comedy could be looking at anywhere from $26-30 million weekend depending how many tweens hit the multiplexes today. One thing is for sure, Efron's asking price is going up after this one.

Coming in second was the Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck thriller "State of Play."  The picture pulled in $4.5 million on Friday and could do $14 million this weekend.  That beats Universal's 2007 drama "Breach" which opened to $10 million on its way to $40 million gross, last fall's "Body of Lies" which disappointed with Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in the fold ($12.8 opening weekend) and, intriguingly, very similar to the studio's "Duplicity" which opened to  $13.9 million last month.  Clearly, America is going to the movies, but they don't seem to be into serious fare outside of the holiday movie season.  Certainly a cause for concern for alternative fare such as "The Hurt Locker" trying to make a dent in the upcoming summer movie season.

The weekend's other new release, "Crank: High Voltage," opened with only $2.6 million.  The sequel to the 2006 cult picture may not equal the original's $10 million initial weekend.  The studio tried to brand the film as its own entity with some very brash and unconventional creative, but opening so close to "Fast & Furious" may have doomed any chance it had commercially. 

Here are the top ten movies for Friday, April 17 according to Box Office Mojo.  Look for complete results tomorrow on HitFix.

1. "17 Again," $9.4 million.

2. "State of Play," $4.5 million.

3. "Hannah Montana: The Movie," $4 million, $47 million to date.

4. "Fast & Furious," $3.8 million, $128 million to date.

5. "Monsters vs. Aliens," $3.5 million, $153 million to date.

6. "Crank: High Voltage," $2.6 million.

7. "Observe and Report," $1.4 million.

8. "The Haunting in Connecticut," $1.1 million, $49.8 million to date.

9. "Knowing," $1.1 million, $71 million to date.

10. "I Love You, Man," $1.07 million, $62 million to date.