"Date Night" battles "Titans" at box office

Thu Apr 8, 2010 8:28pm EDT
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The battle for supremacy at the North American box office this weekend amounts to the clash of a titanic 3D holdover and a new comedy for the date-movie crowd.

The appropriately titled "Date Night" should appeal to couples and fans of stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey. A bow in the range of $23 million-$27 million looks likely. That could be enough for the Fox release to lead the field.

On the other hand, don't expect "Clash of the Titans" to give up the No. 1 spot without a fight. After topping the rankings last weekend with $61.2 million, the Warner Bros. action-fantasy is likely to suffer a big drop. But even a 60% decline would fetch nearly $25 million.

"Date Night," directed by Shawn Levy (the "Night at the Museum" films), targets a broad swath of adult moviegoers with its tale of a suburban couple's accidental walk on the wild side. Early reviews have been promising.

Studios executives see the market as ripe for a new comedy with the most recent one, MGM's R-rated "Hot Tub Time Machine," entering its third weekend in release. "This is the first straight-ahead comedy for everyone in a while," Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder said.

Among this weekend's limited openers, both in 10 markets, Anchor Bay releases the horror thriller "After.Life" -- boasting a cast including Liam Neeson and a scantily clad Christina Ricci; and Screen Media debuts the Benjamin Bratt drama "La Mission."