"One for the Money" Getting Zilch from Critics, But Better-Than-Expected Box Office; "The Grey" on Top

Some initial numbers have rolled in. According to Deadline, “The Grey” starring Liam Neeson will claw its way to the top of the box office for Friday. It’s estimated to make $5M-$6M for a weekend sum of $15M-$18M, which is about as much as what box office analysts have predicted.

The Grey

The well-reviewed film, which scored 76% on the Tomatometer, isn’t doing as well as other Neeson thrillers. 2011’s “Unknown” took in $6.7M on Friday and finished the weekend with $21.9M. 2009’s “Taken” did $9.4M on Friday and $24.7M for the weekend. Both films scored lower numbers on the Tomatometer, 55% and 58% respectively.

The surprise is Katherine Heigl’s “One for the Money,” which took in $4M-$5M for an estimated weekend haul of $12M-15M. That’s better than what most have predicted. However, the day is still early and reviews are just rolling in from Rotten Tomatoes. As of this writing, after 19 reviews, its Tomatometer is still zero. It could not only become the worst-reviewed film of the early year so far, but also one of the worst of all time - if Armond White doesn’t get to it.

Depending on where the numbers fall, its Friday gross is still slightly lower than Heigl’s previous two outings. “Life as We Know It” grossed $5.2M for Friday and $14.5M for the weekend; “Killers” did $5.7M for Friday and $15.8M for the weekend. Both films were released in 2010. Heigl’s draw is definitely on the wane since “Knocked Up” propelled her to A-list status.

Sam Worthington’s heist thriller “Man on a Ledge” took in a disappointing $2-$3M for a weekend estimate of $6-$9M. No surprises here. Wothington is still not a guarantee draw outside of “Clash of the Titans” and “Avatar.”

I’m curious to see how well “Underworld: Awakening” and “Red Tails” hold up, but no numbers for them yet. “Underworld: Awakening” has a $70M budget which is the most expensive of the series, so it needs to hold up better if it wants to break even. Ditto for “Red Tails.” Even though it did better than expected last weekend, it needs to have a decent hold this weekend if it wants to recover its $58M budget.

UPDATE: The actuals for Friday ended up being $6.5M for "The Grey," $4.1M for "One for the Money," and $2.5M for "Man on a Ledge," according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

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