Box Office Preview: ‘Megamind’ to make mega bucks

LOS ANGELES : Family-friendly “Megamind,” Dreamworks’ animated 3-D film featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt and Tina Fey, is set to upend recent R-rated dominance at the box office with an otherworldly high-$40 million opening this weekend.Released by Paramount, the PG-rated, action-adventure with shades of “Superman” is debuting at around 3,500 theaters and 195 IMAX screens as the critical holiday movie season officially gets rolling.”Megamind” is widely anticipated to follow the success earlier this year of Dreamworks’ 3D/IMAX release of “How to Train Your Dragon,” which performed well in its offseason timeframe with an opening weekend gross of $43.7 million. “Megamind,” with its good vs. evil premise, sci-fi feel and considerable star power, should be able to exceed “Dragon’s” performance.
Warner Bros.’ “Due Date” offers the unlikely comedic pairing of Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. — a match made in box office heaven — in a buddy road trip movie from “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips. “The Hangover’s” $45 million opening weekend surprised analysts and the film went on to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time.Phillips’ average opening weekend is around $20 million, yet a much better than average debut in the mid-$30 million range is likely for his latest comedy, which also stars Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan.The third newcomer to the weekend’s festivities is Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” from Lionsgate. Perry is a true movie mogul, having created an incredibly lucrative film-making empire in just five years. The stats tell the tale: Nine movies totaling nearly $500 million in domestic box office, an average opening weekend gross of $24 million and an average total domestic gross per film of $53.5 million make Perry one of the most consistently successful filmmakers of all-time.

With “For Colored Girls,” his 10th film, Perry makes his way into dramatic territory, and with Lionsgate making this an event movie for African-American women, a gross in the mid-$20 millions or even higher is in the cards.Fourth and fifth places will see a battle between three veterans of the marketplace: Halloween weekend’s No. 1 film, Lionsgate’s “Saw 3D”; the consistently-perform ing, word-of-mouth action movie “RED” from Summit; and Paramount’s horror juggernaut “Paranormal Activity 2” are all vying for grosses in the $6 million to $8 million range.Also opening in just four theaters nationwide is Fox Searchlight’s hotly-anticipated critic’s favorite “127 hours,” starring James Franco as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston and directed by “Slumdog Millionaire’s” Danny Boyle – Msn