Ron Burgundy is back on top.
The Will Ferrell-powered comedy "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" is set to rule the box office this weekend, getting a head start by earning a solid $8.1 million on Wednesday.
The sequel will likely earn between $40 million and $45 million for the long weekend, which is significantly lower than initial studio tracking, but still a hefty sum for the film which reportedly cost around $50 million to produce. Likewise, it's already picked up a huge $1.6 million in the U.K.
In comparison, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" debuted to $28.4 million in the summer of 2004. It topped out at $85.3 million domestically and made virtually nothing overseas. The sequel will easily breeze past the original.
The aggressively-marketed "Anchorman 2" boasts a big name cast, featuring the return of stars Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate, plus newcomers Harrison Ford, Meagan Good, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, and a host of star cameos.
For the long weekend, "Anchorman 2" will likely take the top spot from holdover "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and other competitors, although the race will be close.
Disney's "Walking With Dinosaurs" opens Friday, while "American Hustle" and "Saving Mr. Banks" are expanding.
Spike Jonze's critically acclaimed "Her" bowed in limited release Wednesday, where it scored $60,000 from just six theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, December 25 will bring us "47 Ronin," "Believe," "Grudge Match" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "Wolf of Wall Street," plus various limited releases.
Keep checking HitFix for box office updates all weekend long.