Hugh Jackman Thriller ‘Prisoners’ Debuts No. 1 on Friday, Chris Brown’s ‘Battle of the Year’ Limp

“Prisoners” should gross $20 to $22 million this weekend — far more than any other movie in theaters

‘Prisoners’ grossed $7 million on Friday, according to studio estimates, placing Denis Villleneuve’s thriller on track to win its opening weekend with $20 to $22 million. The film has earned strong reviews and opened on 3,260 screens – the most of any movie in theaters this weekend.

Analysts expressed some concern that a long running time, R-rating and dark subject matter would weigh “Prisoners” down at the box office.

Yet Warner Bros. strong marketing campaign let audiences know they were in for a demanding but enchanting thriller, and the film has scored a B+ on CinemaScore and 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also read: ‘Prisoners’ Screenwriter on the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal Thriller’s Twisted Road to Theaters

Financed by Alcon Entertainment, “Prisoners” sports an exceptional cast of Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano.

Sony Screen Gems’ 3D dance movie “Battle of the Year” opened to a meek $1.7 million on Friday and its best case scenario appears to be around $5 million for the weekend. Opening on just 2,0008 screens, the movie should finish just ahead of summer holdovers “We’re the Millers” and “The Butler” – and behind more recent releases “Insidious: Chapter 2” and “The Family.”

Also read: Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman and ‘Prisoners’ Cast: Who Would They Want to Be Held Captive With? (Video)

FilmDistrict’s “Insidious: Chapter 2” is expected to drop between 60 and 70 percent for the weekend, but don’t feel too bad for the latest Blumhouse-produced horror hit. It will still clock in second with around $14 million, and will have grossed more than ten times its budget by weekend’s end.

Meanwhile, “Instructions Not Included” continues to dazzle for Lionsgate and Pantelion. It should gross between $5 and $6 million this weekend, placing it in earshot of the record for a Spanish-language movie.

Of the movies open in limited release, “The Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D” debuted to $750,000 on 318 screens and will finish between $2 and $3 million. “Enough Said,” featuring one of the last performances by James Gandolfini, looks like it will post a higher per-screen average than “Rush,” the Ron Howard-directed movie about the rivalry between Formula One drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. That film opens wide next weekend.