Bradley Cooper’s “Burnt” has cooked up a modest $250,000 in Thursday night previews while “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” scared up $140,000 at 690 locations, portending a mild Halloween weekend at the U.S. box office.
The Weinstein Co. is giving “Burnt” the largest opening of this weekend’s trio of newcomers, with 3,003 locations. TWC is launching Sandra Bullock’s “Our Brand Is Crisis” at 2,202 sites and Paramount is debuting “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” at 1,509 theaters.
Forecasts have pegged “Burnt” for a $7 million launch, edging “Crisis” at $6 million. “Scouts Guide” is expected to come in at about $4 million.
Warner Bros. did not offer Thursday night showings for “Crisis.”
With Halloween on a Saturday — typically the strongest day for moviegoing — box office activity is expected to slack with holdovers “The Martian” and “Goosebumps” in a tight race for first place. Fox’s space adventure should bring in $10 million in its fifth weekend, while Sony’s family film is looking at $8 million to $9 million in its third frame.
Disney’s third weekend of Tom Hanks’ “Bridge of Spies” is likely to battle “Burnt” for third place. The drama, focused on a driven chef played by Cooper, has received mostly negative reviews with a 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, which cost roughly $20 million to make, also stars Sienna Miller, Lily James, Jamie Dornan, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson.
“Our Brand Is Crisis,” with Bullock portraying a hard-boiled campaign consultant sent to Bolivia, has also failed to generate much affection among critics with a 32% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The cast includes Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd and Scoot McNairy.
“Scouts Guide” and the studio’s “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” are part of an experiment that allows Paramount to debut films digitally 17 days after they leave most theaters in return for giving exhibitors like AMC a cut of the home entertainment revenue. The horror-comedy stars Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan and Sarah Dumont.
The film, which carries a $15 million budget, will open in 19% of the international marketplace in 10 markets, including Russia.