Racers too "Fast" for Hannah Montana at box office

Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:43am EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Miley Cyrus and her fabulous alter ago, Hannah Montana, likely will be no match for hot-rod racers and cartoon aliens at movie theaters across North America this Easter holiday weekend.

Walt Disney Pictures' "Hannah Montana: The Movie," the first nonconcert feature starring the 16-year-old starlet, is expected to open at No. 3 across the United States and Canada, behind reigning champ "Fast & Furious" and former No. 1 "Monsters vs. Aliens," according to studio projections.

Box office watchers think another new release, the Seth Rogen comedy "Observe and Report," will take the No. 4 spot.

Disney hopes "Hannah Montana" will perform in the same range as 2003's "The Lizzie McGuire Movie," another big-screen vehicle for a Disney Channel star, in that case Hilary Duff. "Lizzie" opened to $17.3 million in 2003, and ended its domestic run with $42.7 million.

"We would love to be in the high teens," said Chuck Viane, president of domestic theatrical distribution at the Walt Disney Co-owned studio.

Business will get a boost from the Easter holiday, with three-quarters of children out of school on Friday and half of them also off on Monday, Viane said.

As in her TV series, Cyrus plays a regular schoolgirl by day and a pop star by night. But her father (real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus) decides she needs to get back to her small-town roots, so takes her on a surprise trip to her old Tennessee home where love and other complications ensue.

TEENS HIT HURDLES

"Hannah Montana" reaches theaters six weeks after the disappointing launch of a concert movie by Disney stablemates the Jonas Brothers. Last week, the "Hannah Montana" movie soundtrack ended Cyrus' impressive hat trick of chart-toppers, opening at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with sales that were a fraction of those for her previous releases.   Continued...

 
<p>Cast member Miley Cyrus attends the premiere of "Hannah Montana the Movie" in Los Angeles April 2, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>