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Teen tearjerker If I Stay rolled into theaters Thursday night starting at 7 p.m., earning a strong $1.1 million in evening showings. The YA adaptation looks likely to earn $18 million to $19 million in its domestic debut, but its strong start on Thursday night could indicate that it may cross $20 million this weekend.
If I Stay should top the weekend ahead of other newcomer, sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, the comic book inspired film also began its run in theaters starting at 9 p.m. Thursday, taking in $475,000 on its first night.
If I Stay stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a 17-year-old girl whose family is killed in a car accident. The accident puts her in a coma, and as she wavers between life and death, she must decide if she’ll fight to live for her boyfriend or join her family in death.
R.J. Cutler is making his feature directorial debut on the adaptation of Gayle Forman‘s novel. MGM and New Line co-produced and co-financed the $11 million film, and New Line parent company Warner Bros. is releasing it in 2,902 U.S. locations this weekend.
The drama is hitting theaters just two months after another YA adaptation, The Fault in Our Stars, exceeded expectations by earning a phenomenal $48 million in its debut. Fault had earned an astounding $8.2 million from its Thursday late-night showings. If I Stay is going after the same audience of female teens that turned out in force for Fault.
This weekend’s other newcomers include sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and football drama When the Game Stands Tall. All three films will go up against tentpole holdovers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy, now in their third and fourth weeks, respectively.
The Sin City sequel is hitting theaters nine years after Miller and Rodriguez’s first film did killer numbers at the box office ($29.1 million in its debut).
But despite a strong ensemble (including returning castmembers Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis), the follow-up is not expected to have as strong of a debut at the first film, likely earning in the mid-teens.
Dimension Films and The Weinstein Co. are releasing the R-rated sequel — which is produced by Rodriguez’s Quick Draw Productions, Aldamisa, AR Films, Miramax and Solipsist — in 2,894 locations this weekend.
TriStar Pictures’ football drama When the Game Stands Tall also opened Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m., scoring $425,000 from 2,180 locations.
Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis and Alexander Ludwig star in the drama, which is based on the story of Northern California high school De La Salle’s 151-game winning streak, and what happened after the team finally lost.
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