“Murder on the Orient Express” grossed $1.6 million in previews from 2,755 locations on Thursday night.
Thursday’s estimates compare to those of sci-fi drama “Arrival,” which earned $1.45 million at the previews last year ($24 million opening weekend), as well as 2016’s “Girl on the Train,” which made $1.23 million and went on to earn $23.5 million its opening weekend.
“Murder on the Orient Express” is projected to earn around $25 million this weekend. Reviews have been mixed so far — on Rotten Tomatoes, the films holds a score of 65 percent.
Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery has an all-star cast that includes Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. and “The Force Awakens” star Daisy Ridley. Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer and Josh Gad also star.
“Murder on the Orient Express” was adapted for the screen by Michael Green, who also co-wrote “Logan” and “Blade Runner 2049,” with Branagh directing. Its budget was $55 million.
“Daddy’s Home 2” took in $1.5 million on Thursday, and the comedy is also expected to gross $25 million, based on a budget of $69 million. The first “Daddy’s Home” made $1.2 million in previews before opening to $38 million two years ago.
“Daddy’s Home 2” sees Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell return as reformed dad Dusty and responsible but wimpy step-dad Brad as they struggle to raise their kids together during the holidays while dealing with their own fathers (Mel Gibson and John Lithgow) and the newest dad in the family, Roger (John Cena). Sean Anders returns to direct the film, co-writing the screenplay with John Morris.
“Daddy’s Home 2” has gotten slammed by critics — on Rotten Tomatoes, the comedy holds a score of 7 percent.
Also coming out this weekend in limited release is Fox Searchlight’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which is written and directed by Martin McDonagh and stars Frances McDormand as the mother of a raped and murdered teenage daughter who challenges the town’s police chief (Woody Harrelson) with three billboards demanding he find her daughter’s killer. The film has received critical acclaim with a 97 percent RT score and is expected to be in contention for several Oscars. Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Caleb Landry Jones, and Peter Dinklage also star.
After continuing Marvel’s hot streak with a $122.7 million opening, “Thor: Ragnarok” is expected to easily hold on to the No. 1 spot with a second weekend total in the $50 million range.