Kellan Lutz's "The Legend of Hercules" hits theaters Friday (January 10), roughly six months before Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's "Hercules: The Thracian Wars." The "Twilight" veteran's swords-and-sandals epic got the jump on Brett Ratner's graphic novel adaptation, but Lutz still has Mark Wahlberg's "Lone Survivor" and $300 million holdover hit "Frozen" to contend with this weekend.
Box-office analysts were predicting an easy win for Wahlberg's true-life Navy SEAL tale, centered around Operation Red Wings, a tragic 2005 mission in Afghanistan. Considering that 2012's "Act of Valor" (which starred some actual SEALs) made $70 million, Wahlberg's star power and the popularity of the book written by Marcus Luttrell, "Lone Survivor" should collect somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million by Monday morning.
"Frozen" is unlikely to drop any lower than #2, continuing a beyond-impressive eight-week run that's earned the Disney Animation blockbuster $301 million domestically and another $342 million around the world, with many more weekends to come. The movie's domestic total is already triple that of "Couples Retreat," lead voice actress Kristen Bell's biggest movie before now. Needless to say, "Frozen" is a huge win for all involved. Expect to see "Frozen" at #2 with around $14 million.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" actually managed to beat the winter wonderland charmer during the week (when kids are in school), but there's no chance of that happening over the weekend. Martin Scorsese's latest collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, described as a "drama" by some and a "black comedy" by others, should be #3 with around $10 million. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "American Hustle" and "Her" fill out the top five.
"The Legend of Hercules" is expected to open with less than $10 million. Lutz's biggest hit outside of "The Twilight Saga" was "Immortals," an ensemble flick (featuring future "Man of Steel" Henry Cavill) that earned $83 million in 2011. The remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is right behind that at $62 million. "Hercules" director Renny Harlin actually directed "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" back in 1988. Lutz will next turn-up in "The Expendables 3," alongside the man who started his movie career playing Hercules: Arnold Schwarzenegger.