Box Office: ‘The Witch’ Spooks ‘Risen,’ ‘Race’ on Thursday Night

The Witch
Courtesy of A24

A24’s horror film “The Witch” scared up $630,000 on Thursday night while Sony’s religious drama “Risen” brought in $425,000.

“The Witch” played in 1,800 U.S. locations, while “Risen” screened at 2,329 sites during preview showings.

Meanwhile, Focus Features’ “Race” got off to a quiet start with $205,000 at 1,800 screens.

The trio of openers is challenging the second weekend of Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool,” which is expected to dominate again with at least $50 million. Fox’s surprise blockbuster had already topped $172 million as of Wednesday following its record-setting President’s Day Weekend.

“The Witch,” the story of a Puritan family that becomes afflicted with evil in the woods, was picked up at Sundance last year after Robert Eggers won the directing prize in the U.S. dramatic category.

“The Witch” has scored an impressive 87% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an endorsement from Stephen King. The opening for “The Witch” at 1,800 theaters marks the widest launch in A24’s history. The film, which seems to be connecting with horror aficionados, is set to rack up more than $10 million — although the studio insists that it would be content with an opening in the $3 million to $4 million range, considering its $1 million budget.

“Risen,” starring Joseph Fiennes and Tom Felton, follows a Roman soldier tasked with examining rumors of Jesus’ resurrection. The film cost $20 million to produce and launches at 2,915 theaters with forecasts in the $10 million range.

“Race” centers on the trials and triumphs of Jesse Owens, the black Olympian who nabbed four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin games. Focus Features bought domestic rights for $5 million.

Forecasts for “Race” have come in around $9 million for its opening weekend.

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  1. mightymad says:

    “The Witch” is… disturbing.

    It’s, by far, the most grounded horror motion picture I’ve seen in a looooooooong time – definitely not a Jason Blum product. It builds to an insane climax that makes you recall those insane tales you heard, as a kid, from some old-timers at your church who were trying to scare the bejesus outta you, so you would believe in Christ (nothing against those stories – they work!) Basically, if you happened to be Christian, there’s a good chance you’ve heard some versions of the story told in “The Witch”… it’s just jarring to see it play out in the big screen.

    Great casting, great cinematography, great score. Brilliant debut from director Robert Eggers – definitely a guy to watch.

  2. Claude Meru says:

    I’ll be skipping Race, since we’re overloaded with race issues during this political season. Being force fed black lives matter nonsense is reached its end

    • randy wayne says:

      Same here, no black movie.

    • mightymad says:

      … If you think the story of Jesse Owens, one of the greatest American athletes of all time, should be viewed as part of any movement, let alone Black Lives Matter…

      You’re definitely part of the problem. Time to evolve, Claude.

  3. Risen will rise but The Witch will be the highest grosser among the films opening. Deadpool will obviously continue to kill at the box office.

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