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Instead of just two movies competing at the box office this Friday, there are two moguls slugging it out. Vying for No. 1 will be The Game Plan from Disney, and The Kingdom from Universal. But the behind the scenes catfight is what’s really interesting because both titles are the first films greenlit by their respective and recently installed (as in 2006) studio chieftains. The Game Plan was part of the trio of films (including Dan in Real Life + National Treasure: Book of Secrets) that Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Prez Oren Aviv OK’ed for his first slate. At Universal Pictures, The Kingdom was in chairman Marc Shmuger’s first slate as well. So there’s an undeclared war between them and their signature films for bragging rights. Right now, distribution (between 2,700-2,800 theaters) and marketing money (about $30+ mil each) are even steven. But the pics are apples vs oranges: PG-rated family fare featuring The Rock (and a terrible trailer) vs R-rated action drama starring Jamie Foxx (and a kick ass ad campaign). Awareness for The Game Plan is tracking better than for The Kingdom, but the latter movie (appealing mainly to men older than 25) has Oscar buzz and should stick around longer.

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...

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