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‘Evan’ #1 Film, But Opens Weaker Than Expected

Evan Almighty, the Steve Carell starring sequel to the 2003 Jim Carrey hit Bruce Almighty opened in first place on Friday with an estimated $11.13 million from 3,602 theaters. Certainly not a terrible debut, as it’ll coast to past $30 million over the weekend, but its much lower than initial estimates ($50M+) and revised lowered estimates from the studio Universal, who were hoping for $40M.

Given the films bloated budget ($175 million, with some reports claiming its as high as $210 million), this’ll likely be a film that struggles to hit the $100 million mark domestically, and therefore considered to be a disappointment.

In other opening weekend news, MGM’s well budgeted thriller ($25 million) 1408 debuted in second place with a solid $7.54 million from 2,678 theaters. The film nearly matched Evan’s per theater average ($2,816 vs. 3,091).

The other wide-opening new release in the top 10 was Paramount’s A Mighty Heart. The Angelina Jolie film took in only $1.18 million from 1,355 theaters on Friday, translating to a per theater average of only $870. Looks like it’ll be fairly week debut for the movie.

Moving elsewhere in the charts, last week’s #1 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was third on Friday with an estimated $6.08 million from 3,957 theaters. Though thats a rather large drop of 72% from last week’s opening day, the film is pacing about on par with its predecessor, which took in $6.75 million on its second Friday back in 2005.

Knocked Up meanwhile crossed the $100 million mark on Friday with an estimated $3.38 million from 2,905 theaters for fifth place. The film continues to perform well, dropping only 25% from last Friday.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End added another $1.99 million to its treasure chest, landing in seventh place as its total domestic take climbs to $281.85 million.

And the other big film still in the top 10 is Shrek the Third which landed in eighth place with an estimated $1.71 million from 3,505 theaters. After crossing the $300 million mark on Thursday, its total domestic take now stands at $303.43 million.

Spider-Man 3 fell out of the top 10.

Look for a complete weekend analysis of the box office to be posted on the site tomorrow (Sunday, June 24).