Disney reports that Cinderella bowed to an excellent $23.03 million on Friday, claiming the sixth best ever opening day in March behind The Hunger Games, Alice In Wonderland, 300, Watchmen, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Early word of mouth is solid as the film scored an 87 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience score as of this morning, alongside an 84 percent score from critics. Friday's figure was just under last summer's Maleficent ($24.3 million) and the $24.1 million first day of 2013's Oz, also from Disney. There's no questioning the studio's reborn drawing power with fairy tale flicks in the wake of films like that one, Maleficent, Into the Woods, and Frozen -- the latter of which was revisited with a brand new short film in front of Cinderella, playing to the strong debut. With the promise of family audiences turning out over the weekend and healthy legs ahead, Cinderella is set to land around $72 million for its opening weekend.
Bowing in second place was the latest Liam Neeson thriller, Run All Night. Unfortunately though, the pic pulled a tame $3.855 million in its debut, 19 percent less than A Walk Among the Tombstones earned last September. Between this film's disappointing 66 percent audience score and 59 percent critic score, there's undoubtedly some burnout among audiences from what is the third Neeson action flick to open in the last six months. Warner Bros. does report, however, that the film nabbed an encouraging "A-" CinemaScore. BoxOffice is projecting a debut weekend around $10.3 million.
Focus claimed third place yesterday as it eased 41 percent from last Friday to $1.7 million. The Will Smith flick's total stands at $39.9 million. Look for a weekend around $5.9 million.
Kingsman: The Secret Service landed in fourth yesterday as it dropped just 25 percent from last Friday to $1.67 million. The hit graphic novel adaptation has earned an impressive $102.84 million to date and should take in around $6.2 million this weekend.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel filled out the top five yesterday with $1.625 million, off just 40 percent from opening day last week. The well-received sequel has tallied $13.99 million through eight days of release and is eyeing a $5.7 million sophomore frame.
Moving down to sixth place, CHAPPiE was off 66 percent from opening day last week to $1.55 million yesterday. The Neill Blomkamp sci-fi actioner has tallied $19.2 million through eight days of release. BoxOffice projects a $5.2 million sophomore frame.