Box Office Preview: Will Immortals Defeat Jack and Jill?

Relativity Media’s R-rated action epic Immortals — starring Henry Cavill of “The Tudors” — grossed $1.4 million in midnight showings as it opened on Friday in 900 theaters nationwide, narrowly besting 20th Century Fox’s (NASDAQ:NWSA) The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opened in August to $1.3 million in 1,024 midnight runs.

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Tracking suggests Immortals will take in $25 million to $26 million in its opening weekend, though it could make a better showing. After all, Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened to $54.8 million. The race for number one could be tight this weekend, with Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving family comedy Jack and Jill also opening nationwide this weekend, while DreamWorks (NASDAQ:DWA) and Paramount’s holdover Puss in Boots could give both new releases a run for their money.

This weekend’s third nationwide release is Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. The biopic about the legendary F.B.I. chief J. Edgar Hoover opened in five cities on Wednesday to gross $54,000, tacking on another $46,000 on Thursday.

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Immortals will be counting on fanboys to buoy ticket sales for the rather violent fantasy/adventure flick, which should appeal to a similar audience as that of box office hit 300. The film has already scored high marks in test screenings, and opens today in a number of key territories, including China, Germany, Italy, the U.K., South Korea, Japan, and South Korea. The film, which cost $75 million to make, has to open to $25 million for the company to be on sound financial footing. Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) is projecting an opening of $10 million to $12 million for J. Edgar.

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