17 Again: Smash Hit–Teenage Girls Power

Teenage girls made Zac Efron’s starrer “17 Again” yesterday a hit, as Warner New Line comedy grossed $9.5 million off 3,255 engagements. “17 Again” marks Efron’s first headliner after his prolific turns in such ensemble fare as the big screen musical version of “Hairspray” and Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise.

“17 Again” centers on a middle-age man, played by Matthew Perry, who magically reverts back into his 17-year old self as portrayed by Efron. The comedy, which received an A- Cinemascore rating, also stars Leslie Mann and Thomas Lennon.

The opening day for “17 Again” rose above such titles like 2004’s “Mean Girls” ($8.6 million) and “13 Going on 30” ($7.4 million). All three pictures made a $20 million-plus weekend release.

“17 Again” is close to “Prom Night” for being the frame’s fourth highest single day bow. Universal’s “Fast & Furious” currently holds the record for the highest opening day in April with $30.6 million.

The more mature thriller “State of Play” was second yesterday with an estimated $4.6 million off 2,803. While the film’s opening day outranked the three other carryovers, the power of matinees are expected to catapult the weekend takes of Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and Paramount-DreamWorks’ “Monsters vs. Aliens” past “State of Play.” Directed by Kevin Macdonald whose previous helming credit was Fox Searchlight’s “The Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play” boasts an all-star cast including Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams and Jeff Daniels.

Number third was last weekend’s No. 1 pic “Hannah: Montana: The Movie,” pulling in $4 million from 3,118, a 77% decline, with an eight-day domestic cume of $47.5 million.

“Fast & Furious” placed fourth in its third Friday with $3.8 million off 3,672, down 64%, with a running B.O. of $128.2 million.

“Monsters vs. Aliens” notched fifth with $3.6 million off 3,662 in its fourth Friday. Yesterday’s take reps a 61% decline from a week ago and moves the toon’s B.O. to $153.4 million.

Lionsgate’s “Crank: High Voltage” was the day’s third wide entry, earning $2.7 million in sixth place from 2,223. Starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Bai Ling, pic is a sequel to the September 2006 pic “Crank” which posted a first day bow of $3.3 million and a weekend take of $10.5 million. The actioner’s opening day B.O. is in line with Statham’s previous Lionsgate titles such as “War” and “Transporter 3” which on average have posted $3 million in their first day of release.