It was a small night for previews, but it’s a small weekend for wide entries with two thrifty budgeted movies. Sony/Screen Gems’ R-rated Deon Taylor Black and Blue starring 007’s Naomie Harris as a rookie New Orleans police officer who witnesses her fellow cops committing a murder drew $675K at 1,962 venues that began at 7PM. Pic expands to 2,062 today. Black and Blue is expected to open in the mid-single digits, maybe $10M.
Black and Blue‘s Thursday night cash is under Taylor’s previous thriller The Intruder from May ($865K, 5pm shows, 2,073 theaters), but higher than his Lionsgate/Code Black title Traffik ($225K, 7pm, 900 locations). Intruder, which played in the immediate wake of Avengers: Endgame during the first weekend of May, opened to $10.9M and finaled at $35.4M domestic, $36.5M off a $5M net budget. Black and Blue cost a reported $12M net.
STX has the $6.5M horror production Countdown which made $515K last night from 7pm shows, on par with such horror pics as 47 Meters Down Uncaged ($500K) and Hell Fest ($435k). Both those pics opened to $8.4M ($22.2M) final) and $5.1M ($11.1M final) and Countdown is expected to open in the same single day range. Countdown, directed and written by Justin Dec, and produced by Sean Anders, John Morris, John Rickard and Zack Schiller, tells the story of a nurse (Elizabeth Lail) who dowloads an app that tells her she has three days to live. With time ticking away and death closing in, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out. The film also stars Talitha Bateman (Annabelle: Creation), Peter Facinelli (Twilight franchise), P.J Byrne (Green Book, Rampage), Jordan Calloway (Riverdale) and Tichina Arnold (Everyone Hates Chris). Countdown is PG-13, so under 25 girls are the target here. Pic is booked at 2,675 theaters.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ Joker is expected to rule supreme with $19M-$20M in its 4th weekend. Throughout its weekdays, it beat Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. However, the pic ends its third week with $40.7M, just behind Maleficent 2’s $46.8M. Maleficent 2 is poised to see a $15M-$16M second weekend, -58% for a 10-day of $62.8M.
Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap looks to take third again with $12M, -55% for a 10-day take of $47.4M. The Ruben Fleischer directed movie made $36.4M in its first week.
101 Studios has Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War: The Director’s Cut which is eyeing a low single digit debut at 1,022 locations. The pic made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse in their battle to control the nation’s electricity system. The film has had a long and twisty road, becoming a casualty of the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy scandal and rescued by David Glasser’s 101 Studios.
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