Monsters Crushes All Comers In Friday's Box OfficeS

Monsters vs. Aliens had a large opening at the box office yesterday, and may have set records for 3-D movies... but can it also beat Watchmen's opening weekend?

The movie made an estimated $16.7 million in theaters yesterday, despite being a kids' movie opening on a school day; according to Variety, we won't know how much of that comes from 3-D showings until tomorrow, but the Hollywood Reporter suggests that it might be a lot:

[T]he PG-rated pic is playing in 3-D on just over 2,000 of those [4104] U.S. and Canadian screens. So it was pretty impressive that early estimates had the 3-D venues accounting for just over half of the Friday grosses on "Monsters."

Estimates as to how much the movie is going to make over the course of the whole weekend range from $50million ( to $60million, but Nikki Finke is suggesting that we should expect it to fall somewhere around $57million (Slashfilm is guessing $56million), which would make it not only easily the biggest 3-D opening ever (beating previous top movie Spy Kids 3-D by more than $20million), but also the third most successful March opening for any movie, replacing Watchmen after less than a month in the #3 spot. Maybe Warners should concentate on the PG merchandising sweet spot from now on after all...