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Box Office: ‘Mortal Instruments’ Looking Out of Tune With Less Than $20 Million for 5 Days

'The Butler,' 'You're Next' could battle for top spot

Sony-Screen Gems’ “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” has a stronghold among teen girls, launching Wednesday with tracking in the mid-to-high teens over five days. But the teen-lit adaptation will have a tough time breaking $20 million, thanks to Lionsgate’s scarer “You’re Next” commanding adult femme interest.

“You’re Next” will battle with last weekend’s B.O. winner, the Weinstein Co.’s “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” for the top spot.

“Mortal Instruments,” which Germany’s Constantin Film produced for $60 million, is based on the Cassandra Clare-penned novel about a teen girl (played by Lily Collins), who discovers she’s the descendant of a demon-killing family lineage. The PG-13-rated film is expected to earn upward of $6 million before Friday.

A projected $12 million weekend gross would put “Instruments” in the $18 million range for five days. Pic also bows this weekend in Imax.

Meanwhile, “You’re Next” could build on recent interest in horror films like “The Purge.” Also opening wide is Focus Features’ British comedy “The World’s End,” expected to gross in the low-teens through Sunday.

Male audiences should also turn out for “World’s End,” which is an apocalyptic-themed parody from the creators of “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead.” Pic stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Popular on Variety

The midweek bow for “Mortal Instruments” is meant to attract a few pockets of teen girls that are still on summer break. The film aims to build positive buzz through to the weekend, but it’s been skewered by critics.

The “Mortal Instruments” films are based on Clare’s bestselling book series, which has been translated into 34 languages, and has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. Sony acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film last year. Its sequel, “City of Ashes,” is slatted to begin production this fall, with Collins and helmer Harald Zwart returning.

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