Box Office Headed for a Wild and Woolly Weekend

This weekend sees Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC enter theaters in the same frame that last year saw 300 pull in a $70.9 million weekend. Estimates for BC are that it will hit somewhere between $30 and $40 million.

The prehistoric action movie stars Steven Strait as an early man who shares the planet with woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and a lost civilization that has conducted a raid on his tribe.

If the movie hits over $40 million it would represent a big win for Warner Bros., says Variety. Only three films have opened to more than $40 million in March: 300Ice Age: The Meltdown and Ice Age; (the latter two also featuring a woolly mammoth).

10,000 BC has very strong Total Awareness of 83%, compared to a nearly-identical 82% for 300 last year, but this year’s entry rated PG-13 compared to 300’s strong R, notes Fantasy Moguls.

Disney, meanwhile, unveils College Road Trip, about a dad (Martin Lawrence) who takes his daughter (Raven-Symone) on a road trip to visit prospective colleges.

Lawrence’s Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins opened last month to $16.2 million. But, says The Hollywood Reporter, it’s Raven-Symone who’s probably the real draw. A mainstay of successful Disney Channel series like That’s So Raven, she’ll attract younger girls, who should ensure that the film possibly pushes toward the $20 million neighborhood.

The Bank Job, starring Jason Statham and directed by Roger Donaldson, also opens this weekend with a view to lifting something north of $6 million.

Focus Features’ Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, will open in limited release as will Sony Pictures Classics’ Married Life and Warner Independent Pictures’ Snow Angels.

After four weekends in which the box office couldn’t match the comparable weekend in 2007, overall business should see a return to life given the mix of movies in play, notes THR. But without the punch of a 300, the frame probably won’t be able to match last year’s weekend for sheer heft.