Fran Kranz, The Cabin in the Woods
At no. 2 on Friday, April 13, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly's The Three Stooges brought in $5.62 million at 3,477 sites for a so-so $1,647 per-theater average according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The Farrellys' comedy is expected to rake in $17.5 million by Sunday evening.
Despite a mediocre 46 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, The Three Stooges should fare relatively well over the weekend proper thanks to kiddie matinees. The $30 million-budgeted, 20th Century Fox-distributed comedy features Chris Diamantopoulos (Moe), Sean Hayes (Larry), Will Sasso (Curly), Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls).
At a close no. 3 on Friday, Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods took in an estimated $5.5 million at 2,811 locations. So far, weekend estimates range between $13 million and $15 million – most likely closer to the former figure, despite the film's generally good reviews. Actually shot in 2009, Goddard's twist-filled horror flick has a solid 86 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.
Written and produced by Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods' features The Avengers' Thor, Chris Hemsworth, in addition to Anna Hutchison, Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Richard Jenkins, and Jesse Williams.
Note that brothers Chris and Liam Hemsworth both have movies among the top three on the North American chart. And so does Lionsgate, with both The Hunger Games and The Cabin in the Woods.
Rounding out the top five on Friday were Jason Biggs / Seann William Scott's comedy American Reunion with $3.4 million and James Cameron / Leonardo DiCaprio / Kate Winslet / Gloria Stuart's Titanic 3D with $3.35 million. Both movies should earn around $10.5 million over the weekend.
Lambasted by critics (22 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics) and without any major box office names, the Luc Besson-executive-produced Lockout collected only an estimated $2.22 million at 2,308 theaters on Friday, averaging a paltry $964 per site. With luck, the action / sci-fier's weekend take will reach a dismal $6.5 million. Directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, Lockout stars Mildred Pierce's Guy Pearce and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2's Maggie Grace. This ultra-violent movie, by the way, received a PG-13 rating.
Rounding out the top ten movies were Channing Tatum / Jonah Hill's 21 Jump Street with $2.05 million, Julia Roberts / Lily Collins / Armie Hammer's Mirror Mirror with $2.03 million, Sam Worthington / Ralph Fiennes' Wrath of the Titans with $1.94 million, and the animated Dr. Seuss' The Lorax with $887k. The Lorax, I should add, has passed the $200 million milestone. Its current domestic total is an estimated $202.35 million.
Fran Kranz / The Cabin in the Woods photo: Diyah Pera / Lionsgate.