How to Train Your Dragon continues to show incredible staying power. According to studio weekend estimates, the Paramount release was able to grab $20 million during its fourth weekend in theaters. That should be good enough for a #1 finish as long as estimates don't change too much when weekend actuals are delivered on Monday. Dragon was especially strong on Saturday, as it experienced an estimated daily increase of 109 percent over Friday.
Even though a lot of attention was paid to the fact that Dragon didn't top the opening weekend of Monsters vs. Aliens in March 2009, it's now clear that Dragon will easily pass the $198.3 million domestic haul of M vs. A.
Kick-Ass is currently in second place with a debut haul of $19.75 million. While not a total failure by any means, that number is much lower than many industry professionals expected. The superhero flick could still claim the #1 spot if Dragon's number declines when weekend actuals are released.
The fact that Kick-Ass wasn't tracking well with female moviegoers may have been one of the major factors that stopped it from bringing in more bank. The R-rating probably didn't help much either considering that many patrons under 17 would have flocked to it if it received a PG-13 rating.
As for Death at a Funeral, the Sony/Screen Gems release started its theatrical run with $17 million. Again, that's not a failure, but it doesn't quite live up to expectations. With such an impressive comedic cast, Funeral should be fairing a little better.
Despite falling shy of first place last weekend, Date Night is holding up quite well. With a $17.3 million sophomore take, the romantic comedy fell only 31 percent. 20th Century Fox has a solid mid-level hit on their hands.
Overall receipts should equal $120 million this weekend, which puts it 10.5 percent ahead of the same weekend last weekend. 2010's total domestic haul is currently 9.2 percent of 2009's at the exact same point in the year.
Check back tomorrow for weekend actuals.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.