'Number Four' takes on 'Unknown' at US box office

The sci-fi adventure
I Am Number Four, starring newcomer Alex Pettyfer and
Glee's Dianna Agron, hits theaters this weekend along with Liam Neeson's action-thriller
Unknown. What is unknown is if either film can topple last week's winners, Adam Sandler's romantic-comedy
Just Go With It and Justin Bieber's 3D concert film
Never Say Never, from the top of the US box office.

Unknown, which co-stars January Jones ( Mad Men) and Diane Kruger ( Inglourious Basterds), is the story of a man who awakens from a coma to discover he must reclaim his identity and his wife from a thief. It is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra ( Orphan, House of Wax).

Neeson's 2008 thriller Taken, also set in Europe, opened with $24.7 million, which Unknown hopes to repeat.

I Am Number Four co-stars Timothy Olyphant ( Live Free and Die Hard) and Theresa Palmer ( The Sorcerer's Apprentice) in a tale of a teen who must hide his superpowers to escape being killed. Pettyfer, in the title role, stars in another supernatural teen thriller, the upcoming Beastly.

According to Box Office Mojo, anticipation is high for I Am Number Four, especially among fans of the young adult novel that this Twilight-like romance is based on, so it could reach at least $20 million in ticket sales.

Produced by Michael Bay ( Transformers) and Steven Spielberg and directed by D.J. Caruso ( Disturbia), the film also opens in IMAX theaters to enhance the special effects experience and punch up the earnings.

Also opening in theaters this weekend is Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, the follow-up to Martin Lawrence's 2000 and 2006 comedies about an FBI agent going undercover.

With the long President's Day holiday weekend and the start of the winter school break, holdovers from last week's releases will remain popular with specific audiences. Bieber's biopic should perform strongly with young teens and last week's animated Gnomeo & Juliet will attract families with young children.

Trailer for I Am Number Four: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5djHG3hPu0

Trailer for Unknown: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcE2dGpyDyk

RC

 

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