SWATH box office

The Universal tentpole -- earning a B CinemaScore -- will easily win the domestic box office race with a better-than-expected $55 million; Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" gets off to a stellar start in the U.K. with $3.4 million, handily beating "Snow White."

Universal's latest summer event pic Snow White and the Huntsman is overperforming in its domestic launch, grossing $20.3 million on Friday for a projected weekend opening north of $55 million.

If Snow White -- starring Charlize Theron, Kristin Stewart and Liam Hemsworth -- stays on course, it will be the first of Hollywood's recent fairy tale re-tellings to work with moviegoers. The film also could mark a much-needed win for Universal after big-budget stumple Battleship and recent comedy miss The Five-Year Engagement.

Box office observers will be watching carefully to see whether Snow White's B CinemaScore affects word of mouth over the weekend.

Snow White wasn't a cheap proposition, costing at least $170 million to produce, excluding a six-figure marketing spend. It also will need to do good business overseas, where it is opening in 45 markets this weekend.

Based on initial numbers, Universal is predicting a $39.3 million international opening for Snow White, higher than two other female-skewing properites, The Hunger Games ($38.7 million) and the first Twilight ($30 million). Snow White opened No. 1 in 30 of the markets, and is doing particularly well in Latin America and Asia, including placing No. 1 in Mexico with $1 million on Friday.

Snow White, however, is getting trounched in the U.K. by Ridley Scott's 3D sci-fi action tentpole Prometheus, which 20th Century Fox is opening in 15 foreign markets a week ahead of its June 8 North American launch.


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