Sony Pictures’ “Bloodshot,” a comic book movie and superhero thriller starring Vin Diesel, earned $1.2 million at the box office in its Thursday night previews beginning at 5 p.m. from over 2,631 screens. It opens on over 2,800 screens this weekend.
In second place among new releases and what was expected could be the biggest wide opening this weekend was “I Still Believe,” the faith-based movie from Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company that earned $780,000 in previews. Behind that was Universal and Blumhouse’s provocative thriller “The Hunt,” which made $435,000.
All three films are opening a day after studios canceled and postponed a wave of tentpole movies meant to come out between this month and the middle of the summer over fears of the coronavirus, so time will tell just how much of an effect that will have on the remaining films at the box office.
“Bloodshot” is looking at a $10 million opening against a $45 million budget, and it’s the first property based on the stories from the Valiant Comics imprint. The film is PG-13, but it’s certainly a more violent film with a darker, grittier tone. For comparison, the remake of “Hellboy” from last year made $1.3 million in its previews and opened to $12 million.
Diesel stars in the film as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force, stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.
David S. F. Wilson directed “Bloodshot” from a screenplay by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe, Dinesh Shamdasani and Diesel produced the film, and the executive producers are Dan Mintz, Louis G. Friedman, Yu Dong, Jeffrey Chan, Rita LeBlanc, Buddy Patrick and Matthew Vaughn. Diesel stars alongside Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell and Guy Pearce.
“I Still Believe,” Lionsgate’s music biopic starring KJ Apa aimed at a Christian audience, earned $780,000 at the box office Thursday in preview showings from 2,600 locations. It opens on 3,250 screens this weekend.
Lionsgate is predicting an opening for “I Still Believe” between $10-12 million, with independent trackers having some faith that the movie could overperform and beat out Pixar’s “Onward” for the top spot at the box office.
Jon and Andrew Erwin directed “I Still Believe” for their Kingdom Story Company banner, and they’re the same duo that directed Lionsgate’s previous faith-based hit “I Can Only Imagine.” That film, another biopic about a viral Christian rock star, became the highest-grossing independent film of 2018 and one of the highest-grossing music biopics ever when it surprised at the box office with an $83.4 million haul.
“I Can Only Imagine,” which opened March 2018, made $1.3 million in its previews before opening to $17.1 million. Another comparison for “I Still Believe” includes “Five Feet Apart,” which last March took in $715,000 for Lionsgate during its previews and opened to $13.1 million.
“Riverdale” star KJ Apa plays Jeremy Camp in the film in a love story about a singer who falls in love with and marries his wife Melissa just as she’s diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. The film charts how his rise to fame and the power of his songs and his faith helped shape their love story. Apa stars with Britt Robertson, Shania Twain, and Gary Sinise, and the film is directed by “The Erwin Brothers” from a screenplay by Jon Erwin & Jon Gunn, based on the book by Jeremy Camp. “I Still Believe” is produced by Kevin Downes, Jon Erwin, and Andrew Erwin.
Finally, “The Hunt” made $435,000 in Thursday box office previews from 2,200 screens. It opens on 3,028 screens this weekend.
Audiences are finally able to see “The Hunt” after the movie was yanked from the release schedule last fall after igniting a political controversy that even drew the ire of President Trump. The movie is a thriller and satire about a group of right-wingers who are being hunted by wealthy liberal elites. Universal added the film back to the release calendar in February and since then have framed the marketing as the most talked-about movie no one has seen.
“The Hunt” is now looking at an opening in the high-single digits between $8-9 million against a $14 million budget. For comparison, another politically-charged thriller released in March 2018, MGM’s remake of “Death Wish” starring Bruce Willis, made $13 million in its opening weekend in March 2018 after bringing in $650,000 in preview screenings.
“The Hunt” is written by Damn Lindelof and his fellow “Watchmen” collaborator Nick Cuse and is directed by Craig Zobel. Jason Blum is producing for his Blumhouse Productions alongside Lindelof. The film is executive produced by Zobel, Cuse and Steven R. Molen. Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank star in the film.