"Argo" has done something few films this year can claim: Connect both audiences and critics in unison. Ben Affleck's Oscar favorite opened with $5.3 million on Friday, according to estimates reported by Variety and TheWrap. That puts Affleck's film on pace to earn close to $20 million for the three-day weekend, a number which will continue to grow throughout the remainder of 2012; audiences gave "Argo" a rare "A+" grade on Cinemascore, meaning word of mouth should be spectacular.
"Argo" wasn't the only new release to succeed on Friday evening. The low-budget horror film "Sinister" actually beat all films on its opening night, earning an estimated $7.4 million. The thriller, starring Ethan Hawke, received a poor "C+" grade on Cinemascore, but should still gross near $18 million for the three-day weekend -- a huge windfall for a movie that cost just $3 million to produce.
The weekend's other new releases didn't fare nearly as well: "Here Comes the Boom" with Kevin James opened in fifth place with just $3.6 million; "Seven Psychopaths" landed with a thud in ninth place with just $1.3 million; and "Atlas Shrugged Part II" grossed just $692,000, opening outside the top-10.Read More... More on Ben Affleck