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Disney and Pixar are hoping to strike gold again with Brave, as Pixar is hoping for a 13th straight No. 1 debut at the box office this weekend. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World also open this weekend.
Brave, which is being released in 3D, is expected to top the box office with between $55 million to $60 million. It is being shown at an impressive 4,164 theaters (including 2,790 locations showing it in 3D), giving it the widest opening for a Pixar film, reports Box Office Mojo.
It is also the first Pixar film since Cars 2 disappointed critics and became the studio’s first film to fail to reach $200 million. Brave is earning better reviews, but it is poised to be the first Pixar movie since Ratatouille to fail to open with $60 million or more.
The wild card for Brave is just how much of a draw it will be for boys, notes The Hollywood Reporter. It is the first Pixar film to feature a central female character (although there are plenty of strong female characters in past Pixar films, from the Toy Story franchise’s Jesse to A Bug’s Life’s Princess Atta).
The number two spot will be a close battle between last week’s number one, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Abraham Lincoln. Madagascar 3 is expected to make around $17 million, while Fox’s Abraham Lincoln could make around $15 million, predicts Entertainment Weekly.
Abraham Lincoln is based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel and was directed by Wanted’s Timur Bekmambetov. It cost Fox $70 million to make and has the misfortune of competing with Brave for 3D screens. It’s also rated R and a non-Twilight vampire film, which means that it isn’t expected to draw a wide audience.
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is expected to have another decent weekend, adding around $10 million.
Focus Features’ Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a quirky comedy starring Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley. It will be opening at 1,618 locations and is expected to make between $5 million to $7 million. The indie film cost just $5 million to make.