By Grady Smith
Updated September 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM EDT


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We know Jennifer Lawrence lives in The House at the End of the Street, but where does that film call home?

The top spot of the box office, that’s where.

On a Friday that made it clear that no film will earn $15 million this weekend, The House at the End of the Street (or #HATES if you’re one of those young whippersnappers using the Twitter) proved most robust. House scared up $4.6 million and finished in first place, yet the critically savaged horror tale should follow the typical horror trajectory and prove frontloaded. It will likely finish the weekend with just about $12.5 million, enough for second or third place.

What will take its place on top? Probably Open Road’s Jake Gyllenhaal/Michael Pena cop drama End of Watch, which also earned $4.6 million. Because the gritty crime piece plays to an older audience, and because word-of-mouth is already proving quite strong (the film earned an “A-” CinemaScore), End of Watch should hold up nicely over the weekend and score about $13-14 million.

In third place, Clint Eastwood’s baseball drama Trouble with the Curve didn’t hit a home run on Friday, but it didn’t totally strike out either. The film batted up $4.2 million, and should finish between $12 and $13 million by Sunday evening. Fortunately for Warner Bros., Eastwood’s movies usually have legs at the box office.

Last weekend’s runner up Finding Nemo finished in fourth place with another $2.4 million, which was enough to beat Dredd 3D, which bombed with $2.2 million on its opening day. The Lionsgate sci-fi actioner will be lucky to hit $6 million this weekend.

In seventh place, The Master took in $1.4 million following its expansion from 5 to 788 theaters. The Paul Thomas Anderson-directed Oscar bait may gross $5 million this weekend.

1. The House at the End of the Street – $4.6 million

2. End of Watch – $4.6 million

3. Trouble with the Curve – $4.2 million

4. Finding Nemo – $2.4 million

5. Dredd 3D – $2.2 million

6. Resident Evil: Retribution – $1.9 million

7. The Master – $1.4 million

Check back tomorrow for the full weekend report.

For more box office updates and musing:

Follow @EWGradySmith

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