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Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Chases Down $1.3 Million at Thursday Box Office

Ava DuVernay’s sci-fi film faces off against ”Black Panther“ for the No. 1 spot, as three other films open in wide release this weekend

Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” grossed $1.3 million at the Thursday box office.

When tracking for the adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s sci-fi novel first came out three weeks ago, opening weekend estimates were set at approximately $35 million against a production budget of at least $103 million, according to California Film Commission reports.

The closest competition for “Wrinkle in Time” would be Disney’s 2015 flop “Tomorrowland,” which opened to $33 million and ended up making $209.1 million against a $190 million budget before marketing costs.  That film grossed $725,000 from a limited run in 701 U.S. theaters. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” earned $1.5 million before it opened to $34 million its opening weekend in 2016.

Opra Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and Storm Reid star in the film based on L’Engle’s beloved book. Reid’s Meg Murray uses the help of three extra-terrestrial beings to find her missing father. Its current Rotten Tomatoes score is 43 percent.

Disney’s “Black Panther” is expected to earn in the same range as “Wrinkle in Time” this weekend: $35 million to $40 million. Since it has kept first place at the box office since its debut on Feb. 16 and if it ends up topping “Wrinkle” to take the No. 1 spot again, it will become the first movie since “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to finish at No. 1 for four straight weekends.

The Marvel film has grossed $516 million domestically and $930 million globally so far.

Outside of this weekend’s Disney vs. Disney showdown, three other films are getting wide release on 2,400-2,500 screens. Leading them is Aviron’s horror film “The Strangers: Prey at Night,” which is tracking for a $6-8 million start. Also coming out is “Gringo,” an action comedy starring David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton that will be co-distributed by Amazon Studios and STX; along with Entertainment Studios’ action drama “The Hurricane Heist.” Both of those films are tracking for a $3-4 million start.