"Friday the 13th" looks to top long weekend

Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:13pm EST
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Talk about double-dipping.

Saturday is Valentine's Day and Monday is Presidents Day, the first such combo in five years. So with the boxoffice hot of late, Hollywood is smacking its lips over the prospect of a torrid four-day frame.

Warner Bros.' R-rated horror pic "Friday the 13th" is sure to be No. 1, targeting $27 million-$30 million through Monday thanks to strong and broad prerelease interest.

"We've got young males and young females," Warners distribution president Dan Fellman said. "And because the franchise has a bit of a history to it, we've got the older audience as well. Jason is a well-established character in the horror genre."

The latest "Friday" -- the 11th installment -- essentially remakes the 1980 original. Franchise predecessor "Jason X" bowed in April 2002 with $6.6 million en route to $12.2 million domestically. The dueling-slasher picture "Freddy vs. Jason" opened to $36.4 million in 2003 and wrapped with $82.2 million -- more than the five previous "Friday the 13th" films combined.

The latest edition is helmed by Marcus Nispel (the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" redo), numbers Michael Bay among its producers and stars Jared Padalecki ("Cry Wolf") and Danielle Panabaker ("Mr. Brooks"). But with a signature high body count of the young and beautiful, this "Friday" is best described as ensemble.

The session's other two wide openers offer distinctly different types of films: Disney debuts the youthful comedy "Confessions of a Shopaholic," and Sony sends out political thriller "The International."

"'Friday the 13th' is clearly the frontrunner, and after that it's every man for himself," Disney distribution president Chuck Viane said. "We'll be a part of that mix and certainly hope to get our share."   Continued...