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Box Office: ‘Fate of the Furious’ Aims for Threepeat Over ‘The Circle,’ ‘Latin Lover’

The Fate of the Furious” is racing toward its third straight weekend on top of the box office.

After earning $38.4 million domestically during its second frame, the eighth film in the beloved “Fast and Furious” franchise should steer clear of the competition once again and land in the $15 million to $20 million range. A major landmark also approaches as the actioner could race past $1 billion at the global box office this week.

The biggest contender in “Fate’s” race to the top is “The Circle” from STX and EuropaCorp, which will likely earn somewhere between $10 million and $15 million. While its production budget is a relatively thrifty $18 million, the opening expectations are meager considering the star power involved, mainly Tom Hanks (who opened 2016’s “Sully” to $35 million), Emma Watson (recently the belle of the box office in “Beauty and the Beast”), and “Star Wars” phenom John Boyega.

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Set in the near future, “The Circle” focuses on the relationship between a social media company founder (Hanks), who encourages an employee (Watson) to take part in an experiment that relates to real-world concern and paranoia surrounding privacy, tech ethics, and Silicon Valley. Dave Eggers co-wrote the screenplay, based on his book of the same name. James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”) directed and produced the movie.

Pantelion, a joint venture between Lionsgate and Mexico-based Televisa, is releasing the comedy “How to Be a Latin Lover,” which is expected to bow to $7 million. The film marks the feature directorial debut of Ken Marino, and stars Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, and Kristen Bell.

Starting Friday in limited release, Blumhouse’s BH Tilt label will debut the sci-fi action film “Sleight” at 550 locations. The pic, centered around the worlds of magic and crime, and targeting a young, urban audience, is eyeing $1.5 million to $2 million in its opening weekend. J.D. Dillard directed based on a script he wrote with Alex Theurer. Jacob Latimore, Dule Hill, Seychelle Gabriel, and Storm Reid star.

While this weekend should come and go with more of a whimper than a bang, all eyes are set on Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which kicks off the summer season next weekend. On Wednesday, “Guardians 2” picked up $6.6 million after launching in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. It will open in 58% of markets abroad by Sunday. Expectations are high, considering the galactic hit that was the 2014 original — it earned $773 worldwide, including $333 million domestically.

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