Box Office Report: SWATH Tops Friday With Strong $20.3 Million

photo by Universal

source The Universal tentpole -- earning a B CinemaScore -- will easily win the domestic box office race with a better-than-expected $55 million; Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" gets off to a stellar start in the U.K. with $3.4 million, handily beating "Snow White."

Universal's latest summer event pic Snow White and the Huntsman is overperforming in its domestic launch, grossing $20.3 million on Friday for a projected weekend opening north of $55 million.

If Snow White -- starring Charlize Theron, Kristin Stewart and Liam Hemsworth -- stays on course, it will be the first of Hollywood's recent fairy tale re-tellings to work with moviegoers. The film also could mark a much-needed win for Universal after big-budget stumple Battleship and recent comedy miss The Five-Year Engagement.

Box office observers will be watching carefully to see whether Snow White's B CinemaScore affects word of mouth over the weekend.

Snow White wasn't a cheap proposition, costing at least $170 million to produce, excluding a six-figure marketing spend. It also will need to do good business overseas, where it is opening in 45 markets this weekend.

Based on initial numbers, Universal is predicting a $39.3 million international opening for Snow White, higher than two other female-skewing properites, The Hunger Games ($38.7 million) and the first Twilight ($30 million). Snow White opened No. 1 in 30 of the markets, and is doing particularly well in Latin America and Asia, including placing No. 1 in Mexico with $1 million on Friday.

Snow White, however, is getting trounched in the U.K. by Ridley Scott's 3D sci-fi action tentpole Prometheus, which 20th Century Fox is opening in 15 foreign markets a week ahead of its June 8 North American launch.

Entertainment Weekly
Box office update: 'Snow White and the Huntsman' leads with $20.3 mil on Friday

source No poison apple here. The action fairy tale Snow White and the Huntsman debuted to a solid $20.3 million on Friday, according to early estimates, and is headed for a $55 million weekend.

That should come as a relief to Universal Pictures, which released the floundering Battleship two weeks ago. The result is also a boon for star Kristen Stewart, who had yet to successfully open a movie outside the Twilight franchise. Still, Snow White arrived with a pricey $170 million budget and will need to also perform admirably overseas to justify its cost.

The PG-13 film received an okay “B” rating from CinemaScore audiences, of which 53 percent was female — a surprisingly low figure for a movie many assumed would skew heavily female. According to CinemaScore, 48 percent of ticket buyers listed “Actress in a lead role” as their reason for seeing Snow White, which could refer to either Stewart or Charlize Theron. However, 34 percent also checked off “Actor in a lead role,” meaning Universal was wise to increase the marketing exposure of costar Chris Hemsworth.

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