In a surprise twist, The Weinstein Co.'s Django Unchained narrowly passed up Universal's Les Miserables at the Friday box office to claim the No. 2 spot behind The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The R-rated Django, from director Quentin Tarantino, grossed $9.7 million, while Tom Hooper's PG-13 Les Mis took in $9.4 million to place No. 3. It's the first time that Django has beat Les Mis since both film opened on Christmas Day.
Hobbit grossed an estimated $10.7 million on Friday to jump the $200 million mark at the North American box office. The movie, with a domestic cume of $200.5 million, is expected to stay at No. 1 for the weekend with a projected $33 million haul.
That leaves Django and Les Mis battling it out for No. 2. Box office observers have the two films in a tight contest for the weekend, with each grossing roughly $28 million.
Django, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, marks another win for Tarantino following box office hit Inglourious Basterds.
The film adaptation of the hit stage musical, Les Mis features an ensemble cast led by Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. Les Mis has outperformed expectations at the North American box office.
Family comedy Parental Guidance held at No. 4 on Friday with an estimated $5.1 million.