‘Tron: Legacy’ Set to Top Weekend Box-Office with $18 Million on Friday

Tron Legacy

I gave TRON: Legacy an average review, but I didn’t do so out of wanting. I would have preferred to praise it to the high heavens because I want there to be a third Tron installment, but with numbers like these against a reported $200 million budget I wonder what Disney will do.

Legacy debuted with $3.6 million on midnight, a number that not only beats the $3 million posted by Inception earlier this year, but is also $100,000 better than Avatar‘s midnight opening. By end of day Friday it made an estimated $18 million, which should have it ending somewhere around the $48 million mark

Talk of a Tron sequel has been around for some time, which is why I believe some people have the budget posted at $200 million, while the New York Times reported a $170 million budget. This is more likely the number director Joseph Kosinski was working with and it’s a number the film should be more able to work with itself. I’m not sure if it will be able to push the $200 million mark domestically, but I think it’s a film families and younger audiences will be able to embrace. It’s got some fun visuals, a solid set of heroes and villains and could do some big business over the holidays. We’ll just have to wait and see.

In a distant second as Yogi Bear with an estimated $4.7 million, which I’d guess will translate to something around $16 million, but my gut wants me to say closer to $14.5 million. Will there be good buzz? Negative buzz? The reviews were certainly negative, but not in any way as vitriolic as I’d expected with those atrocious trailers.

The week’s other new wide release was the $120 million budgeted rom-com from James L. Brooks, How Do You Know, which tied with the Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie starrer The Tourist at $2.55 million. How Do You Know is looking at an $8-9 million weekend, which is not what Sony was hoping for when they spent that much money.

Like previous weekends, the more interesting stories come from the smaller independent releases hoping for not only box-office glory, but Oscar glory.

First off, Paramount’s The Fighter went wide with 2,503 theaters and brought in an estimated $3.925 million and Searchlight’s Black Swan continued to impress coming in #5 with $2.7 million in 959 theaters. Both films have done very well in the awards circuit, garnering a healthy dose of nominations. The Fighter took home six nominations from the Golden Globes with Black Swan taking home four.

As for the rest of Friday’s top ten, I have the complete list below and will be back on Sunday morning with a complete weekend recap.

  1. TRON: Legacy – $18 million
  2. Yogi Bear – $4.7 million
  3. The Fighter – $3.925 million
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $3.7 million
  5. Black Swan – $2.7 million
  6. How Do You Know – $2.55 million
  7. The Tourist – $2.55 million
  8. Tangled – $2.16 million
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – $1.5 million
  10. Unstoppable – $675,000