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Box Office: Brad Pitt’s ‘Fury’ Rolls with $1.2 Million Thursday Night

Brad Pitt’s tank tale “Fury” has started rolling with $1.2 million at late night shows Thursday at 2,489 locations in the U.S. for Sony.

That’s well above the late night Thursday figures for recent adult-skewing movies such as “Captain Phillips,” which generated $600,000 in first-night early shows in October and “Monuments Men,” which drew $550,000 on its first night.

Sony’s first numbers give a strong signal that “Fury,” also starring Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman, won’t tank at the multiplexes this weekend. Recent forecasts have estimated that “Fury” will finish at the top of the box office chart with a $25 million opening from 3,155 locations.

“Fury,” which carries a $68 million price tag, was directed by “End of Watch” helmer David Ayer. It’s opening amid solid critical support with a 76% “fresh” rating on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator site.

Fox’s third weekend of “Gone Girl” and the opening of its animated “The Book of Life” are contenders for the second slot in the $16 million to $18 million range.

“Gone Girl” has won back-to-back weekends and shown impressive holding power among audiences, garnering nearly $90 million in its first two weeks.

“The Book of Life,” an animated Day of the Dead adventure, generated $300,000 at 2,150 locations on Thursday night. The $50 million project, co-produced and co-financed by Reel FX and 20th Century Fox, expands to 3,069 locations today.

Reviewers have been strongly supportive of “Book” with a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Relativity’s Nicholas Sparks-based romancer “The Best of Me” took in $525,000 from Thursday night show starting at 8 p.m. Recent comparable title “If I Stay” grossed $1.1 million from Thursday night on its way to a $15.7 million opening weekend for Warner Bros.; TWC’s “The Giver” took in $750,000 on Thursday night and $12.3 million in its launch frame.

However, “The Best of Me” more than doubled another Sparks-based title “Safe Haven,” which opened with $250,000 on Thurday night on its way to a $21.4 million launch weekend.

Forecasters have predicted that Universal’s second weekend of “Dracula Untold” and “The Best of Me” will battle for the fourth slot with weekends in the $12 million to $14 million range. Reviews have been dismal for “The Best of Me,” with a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The Best of Me” will open in 2,936 theaters with a budget of $26 million, though Relativity has pegged its exposure at only $5 million. Its story revolves around former high school sweethearts (James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan) drawn together again at the funeral of a friend.



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