“Smurfs: The Lost Village” earned $375,000 at the Thursday box office, on track for an opening weekend in the mid-teen millions.
“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 star-studded 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, while Sony is projecting a $17 million opening weekend with a strong holdover next 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 “Beauty and the Beast.”
Warner Bros.’ “Going in Style” earned $600,000 from Thursday previews, heading for a weekend in the $8 million to $11 million range.
The film’s Thursday number 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 Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan 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.