6:40am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box Office Preview: 'Glass' to Top MLK Weekend With $60M-$70M
M. Night Shyamalan's Glass looks to do near-record business at the box office over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
Tracking shows the film debuting in the $60 million-$70 million range domestically, the best start for the holiday frame behind Clint Eastwood's 2015 film American Sniper ($107.2 million), not adjusted for inflation. The buddy-cop comedy Ride Along turned in the next-biggest holiday gross with a four-day bow of $48.6 million in 2014.
MLK weekend usually boasts several new Hollywood offerings. This year, rival studios stayed away because of Glass, a superhero thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy.
Glass is the final title in the original trilogy created by Shyamalan that began 19 years ago with Disney's Unbreakable, starring Willis and Jackson, and was followed by Universal's Split, a surprise 2015 box-office hit starring McAvoy whose final scene linked to the filmmaker's 2000 film.
Shyamalan financed Glass himself. Universal is handling the movie domestically, while Disney has international distribution duties. The pic, which opens overseas this weekend in numerous markets, has enjoyed plenty of buzz in recent weeks, yet it remains to be seen whether its box-office performance will be impacted by mediocre reviews.
Glass currently has a 39 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 76 percent for Split and 69 percent for Unbreakable.
The story follows vigilante David Dunn (Willis) as he hunts down The Beast (McAvoy), a man inhabited by numerous identities.
Jackson reprises his role as Elijah Price, a mysterious, comic book-obsessed villain. Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard co-star.