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Box Office: Hugh Jackman’s ‘Logan’ Rakes in $9.5 Million on Thursday

Hugh Jackman’s “Logan” has opened with a powerful $9.5 million in Thursday night previews that began at 7 p.m.

Fox’s comic book adaptation is expected to debut with $70 million for the opening weekend at 4,071 sites — easily topping the $53 million launch for “Lego Batman” as the top debut of 2017 so far. Fox has been predicting an opening in the mid-$60 million range.

The Thursday night opening is above the previews for “X-Men: Apocalypse” at $8.2 million and “Doctor Strange” at $9.4 million. “X-Men: Apocalypse” opened with a $65 million weekend on May 27-29 and went on to take in $155 million domestically; “Doctor Strange” launched with $85 million on Nov. 4-6 and topped $232 million by the end of its domestic run.

Logan” follows a battle-weary Wolverine hiding out in Texas with Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. The mutant warrior is brought out of seclusion when he gets enlisted to protect a mysterious young mutant, played by Dafne Keen. The R-rated “Logan” cost $97 million to produce.

Critics have embraced “Logan,” which carries a sterling 93% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes since its Feb. 17 premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.

Jackman has said “Logan” is his final turn as Wolverine — the powerful mutant character who says little and relies on adamantium claws. He first portrayed Wolverine in the first “X-Men” movie in 2000 and has starred since in multiple “X-Men” titles including 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and 2013’s “The Wolverine.”

Fandango reported Thursday that “Logan” was outpacing all X-Men ensemble movies and all previous Wolverine spinoffs. The film, directed by James Mangold, is also launching in many major international markets including China, the U.K., Germany, Australia and South Korea.

The second weekend of Blumhouse-Universal’s horror -thriller “Get Out” should lead the rest of the pack in the $20 million range after opening with a surprisingly strong $33.3 million. Directed by Jordan Peele and starring Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” is already hugely profitable, thanks to its minimal $5 million price tag.

Lionsgate will release “The Shack,” a faith-based film about a man whose beliefs are thrown into question after a family tragedy, with an opening forecast in the $10 million to $12 million range at 2,888 locations. Octavia Spencer and Sam Worthington star in “The Shack,” which has employed word-of-mouth screenings for influencers, pastors, and bishops, as well as promotions on Christian Broadcasting Network and Trinity Broadcasting Network.

“The Shack” took in a solid $850,000 in over 2,500 locations in Thursday night previews. Reviews have been negative with a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Prospects are modest for Open Road’s drama “Before I Fall” with forecasts of a $5 million launch at 2,346 sites. Zoey Deutch stars as a high-schooler who discovers she may be living her last day alive in a perpetual loop. Reviewers have been supportive with a 71% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fresh off of its surprise Best Picture Oscar win, “Moonlight” will expand to roughly 1,500 theaters from 585 sites this weekend. The coming-of-age drama became available this week on home entertainment platforms. It has made nearly $23 million domestically, a handsome return on its microscopic $1.5 million budget.

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