Summit Entertainment's Warm Bodies topped the Friday box office with a handy $8.1 million, putting the romantic zombie pic on course for a $19 million to $20 million debut, one of the top grosses for Super Bowl weekend.
The news wasn't good for Sylvester Stallone's new action pic Bullet to the Head. The R-rated film appears to be D.O.A., taking in $1.7 million Friday for a $5 million to $6 million weekend. The pic, earning a B- CinemaScore, came in No. 5.
A supernatural twist on Romeo and Juliet, Warm Bodies stars Nicholas Hoult as a zombie who rescues a girl (Teresa Palmer) from imminent death at the hands of his fellow undead. An unlikely romance develops, setting off an unforeseen chain of events. Warm Bodies received a B+ CinemaScore.
Jonathan Levine directed Warm Bodies, based on the popular young-adult book by Isaac Marion (Summit, of course, is the studio that adapted Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster YA Twilight series).
Paramount and MGM's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters came in No. 2 on its second Friday, grossing $2.9 million for a cume of $28.2 million.
David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook continued to wow the industry with its hold, grossing $2.4 million for a domestic total of $74.7 million. From The Weinstein Co., the Oscar best picture contender is expected to hit $80 million by Sunday.
Universal's micro-budgeted horror hit Mama placed No. 4 on Friday, grossing $2.3 million for a total $53.8 million.
Bullet to the Head marks the third R-rated action pic in a row to fall flat at the North American box office after Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand and Jason Statham's Parker.
Produced and financed by Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment and IM Global/Reliance, Bullet to the Head is based on the French graphic novel Du plomb dans la tete and stars Stallone as a hitman who teams up with a young Washington, D.C. detective (Sung Kang) to track down a team of ruthless criminals behind two murders that brought them together in the first place. Warner Bros. is releasing the movie domestically per its deal with Dark Castle.
At the specialty box office, crime comedy Stand Up Guys, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, opened to a soft $528,000 on Friday from 659 theaters for a dismal location average of $801. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions are partners on the film.
Stand Up Guys was directed by Fisher Stevens. In the film, Pacino's character is reunited with his old partner in crime after serving 28 years in prison, only to find that his partner has his own ax to grind.
Email: Pamela.McClintock@THR.com; Twitter @PamelaDayM