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Gerard Butler’s ‘Angel Has Fallen’ Rises to $1.5 Million at Thursday Box Office

Lionsgate action sequel opens against Fox Searchlight’s ”Ready or Not“ and faith-based film ”Overcomer“

“Angel Has Fallen,” the action sequel starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman, earned $1.5 million at the box office Thursday from preview screenings at 2,600 locations. It opens on 3,286 screens this weekend.

Lionsgate is releasing “Angel Has Fallen” following up from the success of both “Olympus Has Fallen” in 2013 and “London Has Fallen” in 2016. It’s the widest release this weekend as the summer comes to a close, with Fox Searchlight’s horror and thriller “Ready or Not” having already opened on Wednesday.

The studio is projecting “Angel” to open in the low to mid teen range this weekend, with independent trackers estimating approximately $13 million. For a comparison, “London Has Fallen” earned only $850,000 in its debut opposite a then record-setting weekend for Disney’s “Zootopia,” but it ultimately raked in a $21.6 million opening. The original “Olympus Has Fallen” opened to $30.3 million and grossed $170.2 million worldwide.

Butler’s previous live-action release “Hunter Killer,” a submarine thriller released by Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment, faltered at the box office and opened to only $6.6 million domestically following a Thursday preview total of $420,000. Other comparisons include the R-rated “Mile 22” made $1 million in previews and opened to $13.7 million in Aug. 2018. And Butler’s “Den of Thieves” opened to $15.8 million behind a $950,0oo Thursday start in January 2018.

In all three “Fallen” films, Butler plays a secret service agent working to protect the president and world leaders in the wake of a terrorist attack. But in “Angel Has Fallen,” Butler has now been framed for the attack and must enlist the help of his reclusive father, played by Nick Nolte, to help save the day. Piper Perabo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Danny Huston, Lance Reddick and Tim Blake Nelson also star in the film directed by Ric Roman Waugh.

Also opening this weekend, Affirm Films’ faith-based movie “Overcomer” took in $775,000 in its Thursday night previews starting at 4 p.m. in 1,563 locations. The studio is projecting an opening of around $6 million for the weekend.

Alex Kendrick stars, directs and co-writes “Overcomer,” which tells the story of a high school basketball coach whose life is changed when a manufacturing plant in town shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away. He begins questioning his worth until he crosses path with another student struggling with her own journey and agrees to coach her in long-distance running.

Kendrick wrote the film with his brother Stephen Kendrick, and it co-stars Shari Rigby, Priscilla Shirer, Cameron Arnett, Denise Armstrong and introducing Aryn Wright-Thompson.