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Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Red Sparrow’ Flies to Modest $1.2 Million at Thursday Box Office

Film faces off against strong holdover ”Black Panther“ and newcomer ”Death Wish“ this weekend

Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow” grossed $1.2 million at the Thursday box office last night, with previews starting at 7 p.m.

Fox and Chernin Entertainment are expecting the film to open in the mid-teen range, with analysts predicting an opening in the low $20 million range. In comparison, Charlize Theron’s “Atomic Blonde” grossed $1.52 million in previews last year and went on to earn $18.2 million, while Scarlett Johansson’s “Ghost in the Shell” grossed $1.2 million in previews and scored an $18.7 million weekend as well. However, Emily Blunt’s “The Girl on the Train” also earned $1.2 million in Thursday previews and went on to gross $24.5 million its opening weekend in 2016.

Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, “Red Sparrow” stars Lawrence as Dominika Egorova, a Russian ballerina who suffers a gruesome, career-ending injury. With no direction in life, she is recruited into a secret spy agency where she undergoes training to seduce would-be targets into giving up information. But when she falls in love with CIA officer Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), she considers becoming a double agent.

Francis Lawrence, who worked with Lawrence on three of the four “Hunger Games” films, is directing from a script by Justin Haythe. Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary Louise-Parker, and Ciaran Hinds also star. Reviews for the film have been mixed to positive, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 52 percent. The film’s budget was a reported $69 million.

The other newcomer this weekend is “Death Wish,” which is expected to open in the high-teens against a $30 million budget.

The film is directed by Eli Roth and is a remake of the hit 1974 revenge thriller starring Charles Bronson who seeks to avenge his murdered wife and child. Bruce Willis takes over in the lead role, with Roth sharing writing credit with Joe Carnahan and Brian Garfield. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dean Norris also star.

Of course, “Black Panther” is set to win the weekend for the third weekend in a row.  Last weekend, the Marvel movie had the second-biggest second weekend in box office history with $112 million, and could perform the same feat for the third weekend if it reaches analysts’ most optimistic expectations of a $75 million weekend.

On Thursday, “Black Panther” grossed another $6.6 million. So far, the film has grossed $435.4 million domestically and $780.3 million worldwide.