Warner Bros. and MGM’s “Tomb Raider” grossed $2.1 million at the Thursday box office.
Inspired by Square-Enix’s 2013 reboot of the long-running video game series, the action film is looking at a start of $27-29 million from 3,854 screens, with WB projecting a start of $23-25 million against a reported budget of $90 million.
Valuable comps are “The Mummy,” which scored $2.7 million in previews before it grossed $31.8 million its opening weekend, and “Red Sparrow,” which earned $1.2 million in previews and $16.8 million over the weekend.
“Tomb Raider” is expected to fight “Black Panther” for the No. 1 spot, after the latter has held first place at the box office for four consecutive weekends. With $1.09 billion grossed worldwide so far, “Black Panther” is expected to have a fifth weekend total in the high $20 million range.
Directed by Roar Uthaug, “Tomb Raider” features Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft as she goes off on her first adventure in search of her missing father (Dominic West). Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas also star. It holds a score of 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fox’s “Love, Simon” grossed $850,000 in previews on Thursday and is expected to open in the $10-$12 million range. In comparison, “Everything, Everything” grossed $525,000 in Thursday previews last year, and went on to earn $11.7 million its opening weekend.
Based on the book “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, “Love, Simon” stars Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, a closeted gay teen who forms a relationship with an anonymous gay classmate online. His life is thrown into disarray when a blackmailer finds his online chats and threatens to out him to his family and school. Greg Berlanti directs the film, with Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., Katherine Langford and Alexandra Shipp also starring. The film currently holds a score of 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions’ faith-based film, “I Can Only Imagine,” is also opening this weekend, and it grossed $1.3 million in previews. Based on the story behind the hit song of the same name by Christian rock band MercyMe, it stars J. Michael Finley as MercyMe vocalist Bart Millard and Dennis Quaid as his father, Arthur. The film is expected to open outside the top ten with a $2-4 million opening from 1,620 screens, with a reported budget of $7 million.