10 Cloverfield Lane
Courtesy of Paramount

Paramount’s apocalyptic thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” scared away the competition, opening to a solid $1.8 million at about 2,500 locations on Thursday night.

Sony’s spy spoof “The Brothers Grimsby” launched with a quiet $235,000 at Thursday showings. Focus Features’ faith-based “The Young Messiah” took in a moderate $475,000 at 1,300 locations in previews. Meanwhile, “The Perfect Match” scored $155,000 at 790 sites last night.

Disney’s second weekend of the animated comedy “Zootopia” will easily win the frame with at least $40 million following its impressive $75 million debut last weekend.

The launch for “10 Cloverfield Lane” is in the same neighborhood as 2011’s “Super 8,” which took in $1.5 million in previews and opened to a $35.5 million weekend, and 2014’s “Edge of Tomorrow” with $1.8 million in previews and a $28.8 million launch.

“10 Cloverfield Lane,” starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., is pegged for about $20 million at 3,391 locations. Developed by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Prods. as a spiritual successor to 2008’s found-footage horror film “Cloverfield,” the thriller, which has a modest $15 million budget, is set in a bleak near-future Louisiana.

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Critics have offered strong support to “10 Cloverfield Lane” with a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The Brothers Grimsby,” starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong, has been forecast to open with about $8 million at 2,235 locations. That’s well below the openings for Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” ($30 million), “Borat” ($26.4 million) and “The Dictator” ($17.4 million).

Baron Cohen and Strong play long-lost brothers who are reunited while Strong’s character is on a spy mission. The film is replete with edgy humor, including a scene in which presidential candidate Donald Trump contracts AIDS.

“The Young Messiah,” starring Adam Greaves-Neal as Jesus, has been marketed to the Christian community and is pegged to generate about $7 million from 1,761 domestic locations.

The Lionsgate and Codeblack Films romantic comedy “The Perfect Match” is expected to reel in $5 million at 925 sites. Terrence J, Cassie Ventura, Donald Faison and Paula Patton star in the film.

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