It looks like DreamWorks Animation will have something to celebrate this weekend. Two years after scoring a major domestic hit with The Croods ($187.1 million), the studio’s latest original property, Home, will open in first place – and way above expectations. From 3,708 locations, Home earned an estimated $15.6 million on Friday. That’s the best single-day opening DreamWorks has seen since Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted claimed $20.6 million in June 2012. Yesterday’s first-place finish also puts Home on track for more than $50 million this weekend. Considering the film was supposed to open in-line with DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which claimed $32.2 million last March, Friday’s Home estimate represents a major win… especially for a studio that’s seen more misses than hits in the last few years.
The surprising strength of Home stole the box office spotlight from Get Hard, this weekend’s second major wide release. Just a few days ago Get Hard and Home were expected to be in a close race for the box office’s top spot this weekend but, instead, the Warner Bros.’ comedy will have to settle for second. That’s not to say that Get Hard is headed for disappointment. The R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart was projected to open between $30 and $35 million and that’s exactly where it is likely to end up. An opening in that range would put Get Hard ahead of The Wedding Ringer, Hart’s last release, as well as Ferrell’s Anchorman 2.
It Follows rounds out Friday’s top five. The indie horror film has been in limited release since March 13, when it opened in four location and averaged an astonishing $40,000 per venue. That, plus the film’s incredible reviews (95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), was enough to convince Radius-TWC to scrap their plans for a VOD release and go with a nationwide expansion instead. It Follows earned an estimated $1.4 million from 1,200 locations on Friday and should bring in close to $4 million this weekend.
Check back tomorrow for complete box office details and the weekend top ten.