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Weekend Estimates: Date Night Leads, But Weekend Too Close to Call

April 11th, 2010

A strong opening for Date Night, a respectable drop-off for Clash of the Titans and a resurgent How to Train Your Dragon has produced a virtual three-way tie at the top of the chart this weekend, based on studio's Sunday estimates. Things are so close, in fact, that each movie looks like it will claim top spot on one day of the weekend.

Date Night was first out the gate with an impressive $9.3 million on Friday, while Titans proved to be the favorite among popcorn-chompers on Saturday. By our estimates, based on studio projections, How to Train Your Dragon's family-friendly nature will put it top of the chart today. We'll have to dig deep into the archives to see if there's been another weekend with three winners.

From a broader perspective, the real winner this weekend is How to Train Your Dragon, which fell just 13% in its third weekend and now looks set to earn closer to $200 million than the $150 million one might have expected from its early performance. With mostly minor fare coming out for the rest of the month, Dragon should have no trouble staying in theaters for a few more weeks, and could perform strongly until Shrek Forever After arrives on May 21.

The only other wide opener this weekend was Letters to God, which is projected to pick up $1.25 million. Sunday will be critical for this release, which is aimed squarely at the Christian market. It was soft on Friday and Saturday, but will hope to pick up sales today.

In exclusive engagements, The Square and Women Without Men both made good starts with per theater averages of $8,300 and $5,100 respectively.

- Weekend Estimates

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Date Night, The Square, How to Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans, Letters to God, Women Without Men