Three Films Over $20M: #1 ‘Evil Dead’ Fierce $26M Weekend, #2 Tied Between ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ And ‘The Croods’ With $21.1M, #4 ‘Jurassic Park 3D’ $18.2M

SUNDAY AM, 5TH UPDATE: There was a dramatic change in the Top Five as Box Office Results Evil Dead Jurassic Park 3Dthe biggest grossing three films made over $20M through Sunday for a really big weekend. Total moviegoing looks around $134 million which is +8% over last year. Sony’s TriStar/FilmDistrict/Ghost House’s newcomer Evil Dead is the easy #1 despite dropping an expected -24% from Friday to Saturday for a fierce $26M. Holdovers G.I. Joe: Retaliation from Paramount and The Croods from DreamWorks Animation went up +36% and +39% respectively from Friday to Saturday to take over places second and third. Universal’s new conversion Jurassic Park 3D as expected dropped to #4 and should end Sunday with a decent $18.2M. Analysis coming. Here’s the new Top Ten order:

1. Evil Dead (FilmDistrict/Tristar/Sony) NEW [Runs 3,025] R
Friday $11.9M, Saturday $8.8M, Weekend $26.0M

2 *tie. G.I. Joe: Retaliation 3D (Paramount) Week 2 [Runs 3,734] PG13
Friday $6.4M, Saturday $8.9M (-49%), Weekend $21.1M, Cume $86.6M

2 *tie. The Croods 3D (DreamWorks Animation/Fox) Week 3 [Runs 3,879] PG
Friday $6.0M, Saturday $8.8M, Weekend $21.1M, Cume $126.8M

4. Jurassic Park 3D (Universal) NEW [Runs 2,771] PG13
Friday $7.0M, Saturday $7.1M, Weekend $18.2M

5. Olympus Has Fallen (FilmDistrict) Week 3 [Runs 3,059] R
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $4.3M, Weekend $10.0M, Cume $71.1M

6. Tyler Perry’s Temptation (Lionsgate) Week 2 [Runs 2,047] PG13
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.4M, Weekend $10.0M (-54%), Cume $38.3M

7. Oz The Great And Powerful (Disney) Week 5 [Runs 2,905] PG
Friday $2.4M, Saturday $3.4M, Weekend $8.1M, Cume $212.7M

8. The Host (Open Road) Week 2 [Runs 3,202] PG13
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.1M, Weekend $5.2M (-51%), Cume $19.6M

9. The Call (TriStar/Sony) Week 4 [Runs 2,002] R
Friday $1.1M, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $3.5M, Cume $45.4M

10. Admission (Focus Features) Week 3 [Runs 1,407] PG13
Friday $664K, Saturday $850K, Weekend $2.0M, Cume $15.3M

FRIDAY 11:30 PM, 3RD UPDATE: Sony’s TriStar/FilmDistrict/Ghost House’s newcomer Evil Dead is a #1 lock today with $11.5 million assuming good late shows and as much as $27M for the weekend depending on Saturday’s drop. The ‘C+’ CinemaScore is disappointing for word of mouth. (“Maybe they just grabbed the people running out the door with their hands over their mouths,” joked a studio exec about the horror genre.)  Coming in #2 today is Universal’s new conversion Jurassic Park 3D with $7M. But it could drop to #4 taking in $18M through Sunday. As for overall moviegoing, the weekend could be as high as $130M which would be +5% from last year. Here’s the Top Ten list based on Friday estimates:

FRIDAY 4:30 PM, 2ND UPDATE: No change in the Top Five order with 30% of kids out of school especially in the big cities and 7% of college students out. Sony’s Tristar/FilmDistrict/Ghost House’s Evil Dead is looking like $13M-$15M today and $27M-$30M for the weekend. Universal’s Jurassic Park 3D targeting $7M today with 45% of its business in IMAX locations.  Paramount’s holdover G.I. Joe: Retaliation which was last weekend’s #1 looks down -59% Friday and only -50% for the weekend.

FRIDAY 12:45 PM UPDATE: Estimates are coming in for a lively Friday domestic box office based on matinee trends. But, first, a complaint. The studios are sneaky. They keep starting their weekend previews earlier and earlier and then fold in those Thursday 7 PM and 10 PM grosses into the Friday midnight totals to pad first-day numbers. The result is that the so-called ‘midnight’ numbers have become actual ‘late show’ numbers and I will refer to them as such from now on. I also consider them worthless for predicting Friday or weekend strength or weakness. Thanks a lot, moguls, for making my box office reporting even more complicated. (Long sigh…)

Sony’s Tristar/FilmDistrict/Ghost House’s Evil Dead took in $1.8M “making it among the best late show openings of the year,” execs are gushing. “A great start for the film.” The film is playing on 3,025 screens this weekend and is looking like “a really really good” $11M to $15M today according to rival studios. That means initial low-ball expectations for a $20M-$22M opening weekend are rising quickly to $30M if it keeps on pace. Which it should. That’s amazing for a modest $17M production budget. Execs are explaining to me that the title has generated a lot of intense interest among genre fans after word spread that the original producers — Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell — were very involved. “But it was also crucial to introduce this horror classic to a whole new generation of moviegoers.” Pic was on track to be one of Fandango’s best-selling horror films in company history and comprised 35% of its online ticket sales today. The film was acquired by Sony Pictures and FilmDistrict from Ghost House in late 2011 prior to the start of production beginning.

Universal released Jurassic Park 3D was scoring 32% of Fandango’s online ticket sales today for its 2,771 runs and its $475,474 opening late shows beat Titanic 3D‘s $250,000 late shows. (Of course Titanic‘s running time was way longer.) But the number is nowhere near Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D which did $1.3M in midnights because of those extreme fanboys. My sources are conservatively scoring JP3D based on matinee trends as $7M for today and $15M-$18M for the weekend. That’s if Steven Spielberg’s dinosaurs follow the same front-loaded Star Wars 3D pattern with a flat Saturday and -40% Sunday. Spielberg personally oversaw the restoration of Jurassic Park in 3D with Stereo D from the original film which even back in 1993 was a pioneering mix of practical effects from Stan Winston and digital imagery from Industrial Light + Magic. This conversion process took more than 700 artists over 9 months to complete. Now the re-release is a teaser for upcoming Jurassic Park 4.

Right now the Top Five looks like this order based on Friday estimates: #1 Evil Dead, #2 Jurassic Park 3D, #3 Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, #4 DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods (which crossed $100M in 13 days this week and has an international cume of $171M from 59 markets going into Friday), and #5 a tie between Tyler Perry’s Temptation and FilmDistrict’s Olympus Has Fallen.

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