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“Apocalypto” takes early Weekend lead as it wins Friday Box Office

The Mel Gibson directed Mayan epic “Apocalypto” (2,465 theaters) is expected to take the friday box office with around $6M when Friday estimates are released later in the day.

Its total weekend total should approach somewhere in the $15-16M neighborhood. That would surpase the expectations of Disney, who distributed the film, putting it over the $9.9M “Braveheart” from 1995, which is considered similar to “Apocolypto” in terms of its R-rated content.

Insiders were unsure how the general public would respond to a movie by Gibson which has no spoken english (all in Mayan), subtitled and as well as the scandal involving Gibson from his arrest a while back.

The other main openers for the weekend were “The Holiday”, the romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black and “Blood Diamond”, the action packed thriller starring DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly which revolves around the diamond trade on the African continent.

“The Holiday” (2,610 theaters) took in an estimated $4.5M friday followed by “Blood Diamond” (1,910 theaters). All three new releases are expected to have total 3-day weekends in the teens.

Mel Wins Friday: #1 ‘Apocalypto’ Bigger Opening Wkd Than ‘Braveheart'; Cam’s ‘Holiday’ #2, Leo’s ‘Diamond’ #3 [Deadline Hollywood Daily]