Big-budget reboot “The Legend of Tarzan” couldn’t swing more money than “The Purge: Election Year” earned at the box office on Thursday.
The Blumhouse horror sequel, which cost a mere $10 million to make, grossed $3.6 million from its preview screenings, while the $180 million Warner Bros. release starring Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie managed only $2.6 million.
Hollywood’s latest crack at adapting author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ literary character for the big screen is expected to earn somewhere in the mid-$20 million range. However, the studio is anticipating the film to surpass $30 million over the four-day weekend.
“The Legend of Tarzan” has gotten unimpressive reviews; it currently stands at 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney’s “The BFG,” meanwhile, earned $775,000 on Thursday. That sum is in line with the recent Thursday preview results for “Angry Birds” ($800,000) and “Home” ($650,000).
Steven Spielberg‘s Roald Dahl adaptation is opening on 3,357 screens and is expected to debut at around $26 million, with the studio predicting approximately $30 million.
Given that the movie’s production budget was estimated at $140 million, those opening numbers are decidedly low — particularly given the pedigree of the talent involved. The film stars Oscar winner Mark Rylance as the “big friendly giant.”
However, the film have been warmly reviewed. It currently holds a score of 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Purge” sequel stars Elizabeth Mitchell (“Lost”) as a presidential candidate who is running on the platform of a Purge-less society, attempting to eliminate the one day when killing is deemed legal. Frank Grillo (Crossbones in the “Captain America” series) returns as police sergeant Barnes.
Set to open on 2,787 screens, the R-rated horror sequel is expected to continue its series tradition of high revenue margins. In comparison, 2013’s first “Purge” film made $3.44 million in early showings, while its sequel, “Anarchy,” grossed $2.64 million in previews in 2014.
Building off the success of the first two “Purge” films, the franchise has so far earned $200 million worldwide, and the third film is estimated to make around $25 million this holiday weekend.
The movie currently holds a score of 57 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
All of that being said, however, Disney-Pixar’s holdover “Finding Dory” is expected to take first place for the third straight weekend with an expected $50 million haul.
That movie took in $73 million last weekend after hooking $135 million in its first frame, a record for an animated movie.