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Close Race On Top For Friday’s Box Office

Universal’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry opened well with $12.4 million on Friday from 3,495 theaters based on estimates. It was just ahead of New Line’s Hairspray which was a close second with $11.2 million from 3,121, leaving

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in third place with a lower than expected $10.12 million from 4,285 theaters. All of this is pointing to what will turn out to be a close three-way race on top.

Most Adam Sandler films stay even or dip on Saturday’s, instead of the usual bump, indicating their heavy front loaded nature. The same is expected to happen with this latest film, which means Potter could eek out a win (Hairspray will likely dip over the weekend as well).

Looking back briefly at Harry Potter, despite what appears to be a 55-60% drop in its second week, the film has raked in an impressive $185.48 million through its first 10 days of release, enough for third best for the franchise (behind the $201.01 million generated by ‘The Goblet of Fire’ and the $186.98 million from ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone’).

The top three films are looking at weekends somewhere in the $28-34 million range.

In fourth place was Transformers which continues to show good legs, grossing a respectable $5.98 million (+40.3% from Thursday) as it lost theaters for the first time in its run, dipping to 3,762 theaters. Through 18 days of release, the sure to be turned into a sequel (or more) has grossed $248.44 million as it nears the $400 million mark worldwide (currently sitting at $395.1 million). Paramount (DreamWorks) did a heckuva job keeping the budget for this film under control ($150 million). It should finish the weekend with somewhere around $20-22 million.

Ratatouille placed fifth, taking in an estimated $3.44 million from 3,402 theaters. Through 22 days of release, the Disney/Pixar animated film has taken in $158.06 million. Look for a weekend take of around $10-12 million.

Check back tomorrow for a complete analysis of the box office top 10 to be posted on the site tomorrow (Sunday, July 21).

Source: Box Office Mojo