Universal’s “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” made its way to a solid $1 million in its Thursday previews, which started at 7 p.m. in 2,645 theaters.
Heading into the weekend, analysts are projecting a $20 million to $25 million opening for the prequel to 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” The original film debuted to $1.38 million in its Thursday previews and grossed $56.2 million on a $170 million budget.
“The Huntsman” had a significantly smaller budget, at $115 million, and stars original cast members Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. Kristen Stewart did not reprise her role as Snow White in the prequel, but the film welcomed newcomers Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt to the franchise.
Heading into the weekend, the biggest rival of “The Huntsman” will be Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” which debuted last weekend to a whopping $103.3 million, far above initial projections that were around $75 million.
Jon Favreau‘s “Jungle Book” made another estimated $5.6 million on Thursday, bringing its domestic total to $130 million. Analysts are estimating a 45 percent drop in the film’s second round, which would be in line with the second weekend drop-offs of 2015’s “Cinderella” and 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
“The Huntsman” currently has a score of 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. “Jungle Book” remains the best-reviewed live-action remake of an animated film on Rotten Tomatoes, where its score stands at 94 percent.
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan had his directorial debut with “Huntsman,” which Joe Roth produced. The prequel is about the war between the Evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) and the Ice Queen (Blunt), who sets up a team of soldiers to protect her with the one rule that they can’t fall in love. When Sara (Chastain) and Eric (Hemsworth) do, they must put their differences aside and team up to fight Ravenna.