Box Office: 'American Assassin' Targets $915K Thursday Night; 'mother!' Earns $700K

Courtesy of CBS Films; Paramount Pictures
'American Assassin,' 'mother!'

Elsewhere, 'It' continues to do record business as it prepares to jump the $200 million mark in only its second weekend.

Michael Cuesta's action pic American Assassin targeted $915,000 in Thursday night previews, while Darren Aronofsky's psychological horror-thriller mother! grossed $700,000.

Both films are expected to open in the low teens at the North American box office this weekend.

Water-cooler sensation It will easily win the frame with a massive $50 million-$60 million. Warner Bros. and New Line's film adaptation of Stephen King's novel earned another $7.2 million on Thursday for a record-shattering, seven-day domestic cume of $158.7 million.

No one is quite sure how much horror blockbuster It will cannibalize other movies.

Directed by Michael Cuesta, American Assassin played in 2,400 theaters Thursday night before expanding into a total of 3,154 locations today. Comps for the action-thriller include such action pics as 2014's John Wick, which debuted to $14 million after earning $870,000 in previews.

The CBS Films and Lionsgate release stars Dylan O'Brien as a CIA operative who teams with a veteran agent (Michael Keaton) to stop terrorists from starting a world war. The action-thriller, also featuring Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar and Taylor Kitsch, is based on late author Vince Flynn's novel of the same name.

From Paramount, mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. The elevated psychological horror-thriller made its world premiere earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival before screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is playing in 2,367 locations domestically after first rolling out in 2,000 sites Thursday night.

The mysterious story revolves around a married couple named Mother (Lawrence) and Him (Bardem), whose tranquil existence is tested when two strangers  —  Man (Harris) and Woman (Pfeiffer) — show up at their country Victorian home.

Comparably, Guillermo del Toro's elevated horror film Crimson Peak earned $855,000 in previews on its way to a $13.1 million domestic debut in 2015. In the same year, M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit took in $1 million in previews, and opened to $25.4 million.

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