Opening day: '2012' looking huge, 'Christmas Carol' holding strong
Sony Pictures' "2012," the latest disaster movie from director Roland Emmerich, appears headed toward an opening weekend gross of just over $60 million after it sold a studio-estimated $23.7 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada on Friday. That will make it Emmerich's second biggest opening ever, behind 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow," which had the advantage of launching Memorial Day weekend.
Combined with what's expected to be an even bigger performance in 105 foreign territories, "2012" could easily collect about $150 million or more worldwide this weekend, making it a major hit despite its hefty $200 million production cost.
Disney's "A Christmas Carol," meanwhile, appears to be recovering from its weak start. Ticket sales declined only 37% on Friday, putting in on track for a drop of about 30% through Sunday. That would give it a second weekend gross of around $20 million and could augur a long and healthy run through the holidays, particularly on 3-D screens.
Independent favorite "Precious" is headed towards another very strong weekend. According to a competing studio, it collected nearly $2 million at 174 locations on Friday alone, meaning it will likely gross more than $6 million through Sunday. That would give it a very strong per-theater average of about $35,000.
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: John Cusack and Woody Harrelson in "2012." Credit: Columbia Pictures.