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The biggest question mark is The Magnificent Seven, a star-studded remake of the 1960 classic Western, which in turn was a remake of the Japanese film Seven Samurai. Sony partnered with MGM and Village Roadshow on the movie.
Magnificent Seven, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, is tipped to open in the $30 million-$40 million range, a hearty start for a Western, according to predictions.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the movie stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio. Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard round out the cast. To date, Washington’s biggest opening is 2007’s American Gangster ($43.6 million) followed by 2012’s Safe House ($40.2 million).
The weekend’s other new nationwide offering is Warner Bros.’ animated family film Storks, which is projected to gross between $20 million and $30 million. There’s plenty of upside, however, considering it’s the only fresh family offering at the multiplex.
Storks, produced by Warner Animation Group, was directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland. The voice cast includes Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell and Danny Trejo.
In recent decades, Warners hasn’t been a big player in the animation space, although 2014’s The Lego Movie was a box-office sensation. The studio is hoping Storks marks another win.
New offerings at the specialty box office include Disney’s Queen of Katwe, a biographical sports drama directed by Mira Nair and starring Lupita Nyong’o as real-life Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi. David Oyelowo and Madina Nalwanga also star.
Queen of Katwe premiered at TIFF and will open in some 50 theaters in North America before expanding nationwide Sept. 30. Disney partnered with ESPN on the film, which hopes to be an awards contender.
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