Bill Murray’s ‘St. Vincent’ Expanding Wider Than Expected at Friday’s Box Office

Strong exit polls convince the Weinstein Company to bet big on the comedy co-starring Melissa McCarthy

The Bill MurrayMelissa McCarthy comedy “St. Vincent” will be in more than 2,000 theaters as of Friday, the Weinstein Company’s distribution chief Erik Lomis told TheWrap Tuesday.

It’s been in limited release for the past two weekends, initially in four locations and then 68 in its second, so this weekend’s rollout is an unusually aggressive expansion.

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“It’s been playing really strongly, particularly in the suburbs, so we decided to go for it,” Lomis said. “There’s not a lot like it out there in the marketplace, and the demand (from theater owners) was there.”

Strong feedback from audiences also added to TWC’s confidence in the Chernin Entertainment comedy.

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“Our exit polls are through the roof,” Lomis said, “so we figured, why hold back?” “St. Vincent” averaged $27,400 in its four-theater opening, and a very solid $9,788 in 68 theaters last weekend.

“This movie is too good not to work,” Lomis said. “People love Bill and Mellisa, it’s a quality film that plays to all four quadrants and I believe we’ll be able to play and play.”

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“St. Vincent” features Murray as a grumpy war veteran enlisted by a single mother (McCarthy) to watch over her 12-year-old son. Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd and Scott Adsit. It’s written and directed by Theodore Melfi.

Universal’s horror movie “Ouija” also opens wide this week, along with the R-rated Keanu Reeves thriller “John Wick.” They’ll be in roughly 2,700 and 2,450 theaters, respectively.