Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Dances to the Tune of $2.3 Million at Thursday Night Box Office

The live-action fairy tale is expected to dominate the weekend as it aims for $60 million in its debut

Disney’s “Cinderella,” the live-action update of its classic fairy tale, brought in  $2.3 million at the box office in Thursday night preview shows.

That’s less than the $4.2 million that “Maleficent,” another live-action update of one of Disney’s animated classics, conjured in Thursday showings on its way to a $69 million debut last May. But it’s more than the $2 million that “Oz: The Great and Powerful” brought in, and that one wound up at $79 million in its first weekend in March of 2013. “Snow White and the Huntsman” took in $1.4 million on its way to a $56 million first weekend in June of 2012.

No one is expecting the Richard Branagh-directed “Cinderella,” which opens in 3,845 theaters nationwide Friday, to turn into a pumpkin. The PG-rated fairy tale will dominate the weekend box office and should take in roughly $60 million, say industry analysts. The R-rated Liam Neeson thriller “Run All Night,” a counter play to the “princess power” of the family film from Warner Bros., is heading for around $15 million, they say.

Lily James and Richard Madden play the leads in “Cinderella,” which co-stars Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, Helen Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, Stellan Skarsgaard as the Grand Duke and Derek Jacobi as the King. Chris Weitz wrote the script.

Dante Ferrettti designed the production and Sandy Powell did the costumes on the well-reviewed “Cinderella,” which is at 82 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes.

David Barron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur produced for Walt Disney Pictures. “Cinderella” cost $95 million to make, roughly half the cost of Angelina Jolie‘s “Maleficent.” It also will debut this weekend in roughly 30 foreign markets, including China.