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Glee, Movie, 3D, Cast

Adam Rose/Twentieth Century

Glee and Hannah Montana are both hit TV shows. They're both music-industry powerhouses. They're both concert-arena draws.  

And, per conventional wisdom, that's where the comparisons will end this box-office weekend.

Nobody, but nobody, is expecting Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, opening Friday, to make money like Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, the live-music movie's game-changing blockbuster.

"Maybe if this would have hit after the first season when Glee had just began, and people were really, really excited," Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock said.

But opening when it's opening, and against stiff competition, too, from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the new drama The Help, forecasters just aren't expecting much.  

"Everybody will be surprised if it does more than $12 million," said Bock, who's actually counting on a $8-$9 million Friday-Sunday Glee gross. "It'll barely make the top five."

Not being Hannah Montana, though, is not necessarily the same as being a bomb. Concert movies, after all, have lower budget bars to clear. The Justin Bieber concert movie, for example, was made for $13 million; the Glee movie was even cheaper than that—just $9 million. 

"I suspect we will be a success if we open in single digits," Fox exec Chris Aronson said via email.

Bock agreed. "This is a marketing tool for the series," he said. "…If this does $20 million total, it'll be huge."

And avoid taking a slushie to the face.

To see what Glee's up against, history-wise, here's a look at the five biggest weekend debuts by concert movies, per Box Office Mojo stats:

  1. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour (2008), $31.1 million
  2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011), $29.5 million
  3. Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009), $23.2 million
  4. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (2009), $12.5 million
  5. U2: Rattle and Hum (1988), $3.8 million