“Jason Bourne” is already kicking butt at the box office.
The Universal thriller and fifth film in the “Bourne” franchise grossed $4.2 million during Thursday night preview screenings in 2,928 theaters.
Meanwhile, STX’s “Bad Moms” scored $2.1 million, and Lionsgate’s “Nerve” reeled in $2.3 million on Thursday after premiering Tuesday night.
The hot start puts “Bourne” — which has an estimated budget of $120 million — on pace for a $60 million opening weekend, as it widens its reach to 4,026 theaters on Friday. The studio’s estimates are a little more cautious, in the low-to-mid $50 million range, according to a noon update.
Such a tally for Matt Damon‘s latest “Bourne” movie would not only compare favorably to the debut of the last “Bourne” film — 2012’s “The Bourne Legacy” took in $38.1 million during its opening weekend — but it would top the premieres for all “Bourne” movies with the exception of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which made $69.3 million when it was released in 2007. The popular franchise following the adventures of a former CIA assassin with psychogenic amnesia is based on books by late novelist Robert Ludlum.
The opening also edged out the $4 million reeled in by “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” during the corresponding Thursday night last year. That film eventually rolled to a $55.5 million weekend.
Matt Damon reprises his role as the title character after he appeared in the first three “Bourne” flicks. Paul Greengrass, who directed the second and third “Bourne” movies, returned to helm this latest film, which also features Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles and Riz Ahmed. (The fourth “Bourne” movie, “The Bourne Legacy,” starred Jeremy Renner, who played a different character, Aaron Cross.)
The franchise has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, and the latest installment should easily win the weekend, even if critics are fully on board yet. “Bourne” sports a 58 score on Metacritic and 57 on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
“Bad Moms” — the raunchy comedy from STX starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina Applegate and Kathryn Hahn — didn’t have a bad Thursday, either. Its strong performance could even help it edge out holdover “Star Trek Beyond” for second place on this weekend’s chart. “Bad Moms” is expected to make as much as $25 million at 3,215 theaters.
Earlier this week, movie ticket website Fandango reported that advance sales for “Bad Moms” were running ahead of those for fellow female-led comedies “Spy” and “Trainwreck,” which proved to be a good sign for the film heading into Thursday’s premiere. Indeed, “Bad Moms” beat the $1.8 million that “Trainwreck” earned on its first Thursday. That film opened to $30.1 million on its way to $110.2 million domestically and $30.6 million in foreign markets.
Like “Bourne,” “Bad Moms” has yet to fully win over critics, receiving a score of 60 on Metacritic and 61 on Rotten Tomatoes.
Lionsgate’s “Nerve,” a Wednesday release, is playing on 2,538 screens and should achieve a $15 million five-day opening weekend; its Tuesday night premiere yielded $1.1 million.
The film — which stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis — is about a teenage girl who gets way too involved in a “truth or dare”-style mobile game (no, not “Pokemon Go”), where she ends up facing increasingly dangerous situations.
Critical response to “Nerve” was in line with reviews for this weekend’s two other wide releases: It scored 58 percent on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.