In case anyone hasn't heard, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" has hit theaters. The heavily promoted sequel generated an estimated $5.1 million in ticket sales on Thursday in the U.S. and Canada, according to Paramount Pictures, the film's distributor.
Combined with Wednesday's gross, the Will Ferrell-starring "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" has made about $13.2 million, putting it on pace to take in $40 million to $45 million over the five-day window ending Sunday.
The comedy, with Ferrell reprising his role as the politically incorrect TV newsman Ron Burgundy, is likely to come in a little behind the closest comparison, 2010's "Little Fockers," which posted a $45 million gross over its first five days, though Paramount is expecting a longer life span for "Anchorman 2."
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The original, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," opened in summer 2004 with a three-day total of $28.4 million.
Over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, "Anchorman 2" is likely to gross about $30 million, which would be a respectable number for a crowded weekend though not spectacular given the aggressive marketing campaign that put the fictional anchor's face seemingly everywhere people could imagine.
The publicity push included an "Anchorman"-themed Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor (Scotchy Scotch Scotch), retro underwear by Jockey International Inc., and Ferrell's anchoring a real North Dakota news broadcast and pitching Dodge Durango trucks, in Ron Burgundy character.
"Anchorman 2" has received fairly positive reviews, amassing a 75% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences gave it a grade of B, according to the polling firm CinemaScore.Twitter: @rfaughnder