Warner Bros.' Lucky One should gross $6 million to $7.5 million for the day, also a good start and ahead of the $4 million Hunger Games is projected to earn. At those levels, Lucky One should open between $16 million and $18 million.
The weekend's other wide release, Warner Bros.' "The Lucky One," is also clicking with auds. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation, which opened in 3,155 locations, is on track for a $7.5 million Friday take and a hearty weekend cume of $18 million-$20 million.
The Lucky One starring Zac Efron, is looking like $7M-$9M today to overperform for an expected $20M-$24M weekend playing in 3,115 theaters.
Hopefully since THR reported first then Variety then Deadline, this means the numbers are trending up, though I worry the latter two may be a little overenthusiastic. My concerns are 1) how fan-driven is this and related 2) will those numbers deflate as the day (and then weekend) progresses, which is what happened with CStC.
Generally with fan-driven films, the first day is the rush of fans. Then the second day has a huge decrease because fans are done. However I'm hoping that because of the way that Twitter and Facebook were acting, so slow and non-frenetic, that it won't have that typical fan rush.
So the three basic outcomes here: If Friday comes in over-performing at $9 million and holds steadier like Water for Elephants it will get to $22 million. If it weakens like fan-driven Charlie St. Cloud it will get to $20 million. If Friday comes in strong (but not huge) at $7.5 million, it will come between $17 and $18.5 million. However if Friday is weaker at $6 million, it will come in between $13.5 and $14.7 million. Its ultimate fate should be clearer later tonight and tomorrow morning but knock on wood.
eta: Forgot to add that it will be number two for the weekend, behind Think Like a Man.