New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow’s “Going in Style” trumped “Smurfs: The Lost Village” at the Thursday box office, the former earning almost double of what the latter made at previews.
“Going in Style” raked in a solid $600,000, while “Smurfs” earned $375,000 with showings starting at 5 p.m. Over the weekend, however, “Smurfs” is expected to upset the comedy starring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin, with Sony projecting a $17 million opening — “Going in Style” is looking at a weekend in the $8 million to $11 million range.
“Smurfs” sees the titular blue creatures return to an all-animated format after being featured in two CGI-live action hybrids in 2011 and 2013. This time around, Smurfette (Demi Lovato) goes on a quest against the wishes of Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) when she discovers a map that she believes could lead to another village of Smurfs. Of course, the map accidentally winds up in the hands of Gargamel (Rainn Wilson), who hatches a scheme to capture both Smurf Villages.
Directed by Kelly Asbury and written by Stacey Harmon and Pamela Ribon, the cast also features Danny Pudi, Joe Manganiello, and Jack McBrayer as Smurfette’s companions, with Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, and Meghan Trainor playing the inhabitants of the new, all-female band of Smurfs. Early critics’ reviews have been mostly negative, with the film currently scoring 36 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Independent trackers estimate the animated movie to earn $22 million this weekend. This weekend, there will be a top three sweep between “Smurfs,” “The Boss Baby,” which came in over expectations last weekend and took the number one spot — and of course, “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Smurfs 2” opened in August 2013 and debuted to $17.5 million, while the original film, “The Smurfs,” grossed a stellar $35.6 million when it opened domestically in 2011.
The Thursday number for “Going in Style” is in line with what similar films have earned in the past. 2015’s “The Intern” made $650,000 on Thursday when it opened, while “Dirty Grandpa” grossed $660,000 in 2016.
New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow’s comedy stars Caine, Freeman, and Arkin as a trio of retirees who hatch a revenge heist against the bank that made off with their pension fund. Directed by Zach Braff, produced by Donald De Line and written by “Hidden Figures” director Theodore Melfi, the film is projected by trackers to make around $11 million while studio projections have it at $8 million.
Chris Evan’s “Gifted” is opening in limited release this weekend alongside Anne Hathaway’s “Colossal” and Sam Claflin’s “Their Finest.” Faith-based film, “The Case for Christ,” is debuting in 1,174 screens including Canada and Puerto Rico this weekend.