The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement: According to Variety, Walt Disney's The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement got off to a royal start Wednesday. Early box office returns show an opening day between $8 million and $9 million, a studio rep said.
Sequel, which unspooled at 2,926 theaters, could beat the $8.3 million first-day number for the original Princess Diaries, even though it opened on a Friday. Original went on to an opening weekend of $22.9 million in August 2001 and a cume of $108 million.
If "Diaries 2" finishes in that range, it will be one of the most successful Wednesday openings of the summer. Revolution's White Chicks drew a first-day $4.2 million and went on to score $19.7 million in the three-day frame. Disney's King Arthur debuted to a $4.8 million in its mid-week bow, then sputtered to a $15.2 million weekend.
The biggest midweek bows of the summer have been Spider-Man 2 at $40.4 million and Shrek 2 (which DreamWorks decided to open two days early late in the game) at $11.8 million.
"Diaries" is poised to play well through the weekend as it will have most of the young female aud all to itself, as this group isn't likely to be interested in Fox's Alien vs. Predator. Also opening this weekend is Warner Bros.' Japanese trading card spinoff Yu-Gi-Oh!.