Box Office: ‘Aladdin’ Flies to $7 Million on Thursday Night

Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” flew to $7 million during Thursday night previews in North America.

That’s well above the $5.7 million “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” earned two weeks ago on its way to a $54 million three-day opening.

“Aladdin” has been pegged to gross between $75 million to $85 million at about 4,400 sites over the four days during Memorial Day weekend. That’s well above the $45 million opening for Disney’s live-action “Dumbo” during March 29-31, the studio’s most recent remake of its animated classic films.

Guy Ritchie directed the film, starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Will Smith as Genie, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. The original 1992 animated movie, starring Robin Williams as Genie, grossed a massive $502 million globally and won two Oscars.

“Aladdin” has generated mixed reviews from critics, earning a 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety‘s Peter Debruge called it a “mostly rewarding live-action remake.”

Annapurna and United Artists Releasing are opening coming-of-age comedy “Booksmart,” with expectations between $10 million to $16 million from 2,505 locations over the four-day frame. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein star as academic prodigies who cut loose the night before their high school graduation. “Booksmart” has been a critical favorite since premiering at South by Southwest in March, with a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sony Pictures is launching “Brightburn,” an R-rated superhero horror-thriller produced by “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn. The film is eyeing a start between $10 million and $12 million from 2,607 screens during its first four days in theaters. Sony/Screen Gems and the H Collective spent $6 million to produce “Brightburn.” Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner star in the story of a young alien who crash-lands on earth and realizes he has super powers.

Lionsgate’s second session of “John Wick: Chapter 3” should take second place with at least $20 million following its surprisingly strong opening of $56.8 million. Disney’s fifth weekend of “Avengers: Endgame” will probably finish third in the $15 million to $20 million range, which could leave the superhero saga around $800 million domestically by the end of Memorial Day.

Warner Bros.’ third weekend of “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” will likely follow in fourth. The family adventure has already crossed the $100 milestone in North America.

“Memorial Day weekend has been a mixed bag in recent years in terms of box office with the selection of films rather than the holiday itself being the motivating factor for audiences who now view virtually every weekend on the summer calendar as a de facto holiday frame,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore, said. “While still a very important weekend, Memorial Day is not the be-all and end-all weekend of the season as it was in years past and thus it has diminished somewhat in its importance to the overall summer bottom line.”

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