There’s also action on the 3-D front. Disney opens Tim Burton’s annual "The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D" in 280 theaters, some of which are playing a digital 3-D movie for the first-time in a run-up to Disney’s 3-D Thanksgiving tentpole "Bolt."
"HSM3" has a good shot at beating the $31.1 million debut of Disney’s 3-D concert film "Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour," which played on only 683.
"HSM3" and "Saw V" may seem like strange bedfellows, but they’ll actually compete for older teen girls, who are diehard horror fans.
The similarities end there. "HSM3," opening in 3,623 runs domestically, should have no trouble winning the weekend crown. It’s even on track to score the best-ever domestic opening for a live-action musical. Reigning champs are "Mamma Mia!" ($27.8 million) and "Hairspray" ($27.5 million).
Disney should have a golden weekend between "HSM3" and family holdover "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," along with "Nightmare Before Christmas" (exhibitors can charge a premium for 3-D ducats).
Likewise, Lionsgate is looking at strong returns for "Saw V," which debuts in 3,060 runs.