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Superhero genre pic The New Mutants earned a promising $750,000 in Thursday night previews as moviegoing resumes in North America.
From 20th Century and Disney, the long-delayed movie is one of the first titles to launch nationwide after a five-month theater shutdown across the U.S.
Because of significant challenges facing the marketplace due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — Hurricane Laura is also a concern — Disney isn’t giving an official opening weekend forecast. Analysts believe New Mutants could take in anywhere from $7 million to $10 million.
Where allowed, cinemas across the U.S began opening in earnest last weekend; as of Friday, roughly 2,800 out of 5,5oo in-door locations were once again welcoming customers. By Sept. 3 — when day Christopher Nolan’s Tenet rolls out — that number is expected to be well north of 3,o00.
Cinemas in New York and California remain off limits, however. Ditto for New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Maryland, New Mexico and parts of Arizona.
Those theaters that have flipped on the lights are operating at reduced capacity in order to promote social distancing, and are implementing a host of safety protocols, including requiring patrons and employees to wear face masks.
Roughly 40 percent of moviegoers feel comfortable returning to cinemas, according to a new poll cited by Disney.
In terms of other 20 Century releases, New Mutants‘ Thursday preview gross compares to $750,000 for Stuber, which posted an opening weekend gross of $8.2 million earlier this year.
A handful of other titles also debut this weekend, including Searchlight’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, Orion Pictures’ Bill & Ted Face the Music and Picturehouse’s Fatima (the latter two are launching simultaneously on premium VOD).
Heading into its second weekend is Solstice Studios’ Russell Crowe road-rage thriller Unhinged, which debuted over the Aug. 21-23 frame to a solid $4 million. Unhinged marked the first wide release to hit the big screen since the pandemic struck.
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