Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson drew a solid crowd for their romantic drama Water for Elephants which premiered in third place with an estimated $17.5M. Based on the best-selling novel, the PG-13 film averaged $6,212 from 2,817 locations and played heavily to female audiences, lovers of the book, and Twilight fans that follow Pattinson religiously. Critics had mixed feelings but the built-in audiences came out anyway giving Fox the best opening for an adult drama this year so far. Mature-skewing thrillers and comedies have done exceptionally well this year, but regular dramas have seen more modest numbers on the first weekend. An A- CinemaScore suggests a good run ahead as counter-programming to a steady diet of testosterone flicks about to attack multiplexes.
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