"Zombieland" looks to kill at the box office

Thu Oct 1, 2009 6:08pm EDT
 
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - If the walking dead, roller babes and Ricky Gervais aren't enough to lure recently resistant moviegoers back to North American multiplexes, perhaps a three-dimensional Buzz Lightyear will help?

Disney sends out 3D versions of its animated classics "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" as a double feature Friday. The extra-dimensional gambit is largely a scene-setter for the June arrival of "Toy Story 3," and a weekend haul of about $10 million looks likely.

The Woody Harrelson zombie comedy "Zombieland" should end the two-week reign of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" with $25 million or more in domestic box office through Sunday. Both films come from Columbia Pictures. The new picture was modestly budgeted at an estimated $24 million.

Elsewhere this weekend, Fox will open the roller-derby movie "Whip It," starring Ellen Page ("Juno"). A bow in the high-single-digit millions looks likely.

The best hopes for Drew Barrymore's feature directing debut seem to lie in the longer haul built primarily on interest among female demos.

Warner Bros. debuts the high-concept comedy "The Invention of Lying," starring Gervais. "Lying" is tracking a bit softly in prerelease surveys of prospective moviegoers and could bow in the mid-single-digit millions.

Also Friday, Overture expands Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" to 962 theaters. The documentary has rung up about $400,000 from a week of bicoastal exclusive engagements.

Despite recent lackluster sessions, the domestic boxoffice, at $7.6 billion, maintains a 5 percent year-to-date increase over the same portion last year.

(Editing by DGoodman at Reuters)

 
<p>Cast member Jesse Eisenberg attends the premiere of the film "Zombieland" in Los Angeles September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>