The Warner Bros. drama, directed by Denis Villeneuve, should expect north of $20 million this weekend for Jackman's eighth No. 1 movie of all-time.
According to early estimates, the R-rated "Prisoners" is lining up $8 million in ticket sales Friday and approximately $21 million through Sunday - not bad for a movie that cost only $30 million.
"Prisoners" tells the story of a small-town carpenter (Jackman) turns vigilante in order to rescue his abducted daughter and her best friend. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Melissa Leo co-star in the Alcon Entertainment thriller.
Factoring in strong word of mouth, the kidnapping drama, currently riding an 81% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes, should have plenty of leg room in the historically slow September/October release period.
Last weekend's champ "Insidious 2," meanwhile, is down significantly in its second frame. FilmDistrict's "Insidious 2″ fell 89% week-to-week on Friday afternoon, a drop typical of most horror features, but will likely pick up for a weekend estimate of $12 million. The low-budget sequel ($5 million) has already cumed $46 million at the U.S. box office.
This weekend's other new feature, Chris Brown's teen dance pic "Battle of the Year," is all but a ghost with $5 million. Made for $20 million and co-starring "Lost" actor Josh Holloway, the 3D dance movie will really need to step it up to avoid becoming a financial wreck.
Playing in limited release this weekend are "The Wizard of Oz 3D" and Universal's racing pic "Rush."