Box Office: Jennifer Lopez Thriller ‘The Boy Next Door’ Opens with $500,000 Thursday

Jennifer Lopez’s erotic thriller “The Boy Next Door” has launched with a respectable $500,000 at 1,869 locations in Thursday night showings in the U.S.

The Universal title is expected to bring in between $12 million to $15 million for its opening weekend at 2,602 North American theaters. “The Boy Next Door,” produced by Universal and Blumhouse Prods. for $4 million, should attract Latino audiences and females.

“The Boy Next Door” will contend for second place against The Weinstein Co.’s second weekend of talking-bear comedy “Paddington,” pegged to wind up at around $13 million.

Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” will remain the dominant pic, following a stunning wide-release debut over the Martin Luther King holiday. Warner Bros.’ Iraq War drama has held up well in weekday showings with $9.9 million on Tuesday, $7.6 million on Wednesday and $7.7 million on Thursday, lifting its U.S. total to $135.8 million.

American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper, is expected to take in at least $40 million for the Friday-Sunday period. That would represent a 58% decline from last weekend’s $89.3 million but the solid weekday business indicates that this weekend’s total could wind up significantly higher.

The studio has added 140 venues for “American Sniper,” bringing the total number of locations to 3,705.

Besides “The Boy Next Door,” the new entrants include Lionsgate’s crime caper “Mortdecai” with Johnny Depp, and Disney’s “Strange Magic,” a computer-animated film about goblins and elves produced by Lucasfilm. “Mortdecai” could wind up in the $10 million to $12 million range with  “Strange Magic” coming in around $10 million.

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