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Box Office: ‘First Purge’ Slashes $9.3 Million on Fourth of July

Universal’s “The First Purge” has launched with a respectable $9.3 million at 3,031 North American locations on the Fourth of July.

The first-day number for “The First Purge,” Blumhouse’s fourth installment in the horror franchise, came in third on the Fourth following Universal’s 13th day of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” with $11.6 million and Disney’s 20th day of “Incredibles 2” with $9.7 million. “Fallen Kingdom” is nearing $300 million domestically, while “Incredibles 2” has topped $468 million.

Sony’s sixth day of “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” came in fourth on the Fourth with $2.6 million to lift its total to $26.3 million. Lionsgate’s “Uncle Drew” and Warner Bros.’ “Ocean’s Eight” each took in $2.2 million on Wednesday.

Forecasts have been in the $25 million range for the first five days of “The First Purge,” but the first day number — which includes $2.5 million in previews — indicate that the five-day total will be closer to $35 million. The low-cost movie has a two-day head start on Disney-Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which has been pegged for an impressive debut of $70 million to $80 million for Friday-Sunday, with previews launching Thursday night.

Two years ago, “The Purge: Election Year” took in $14.5 million on its first Friday on its way to a $31 million opening weekend.

“The First Purge” is an origin story set in a deranged version of America, in which the New Founding Fathers of America decide to make all crime legal for 12 hours — resulting in violence exploding across the nation. The film stars Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, and Marisa Tomei.

The prequel is written and produced by James DeMonaco, who directed the first three “Purge” movies.  Gerard McMurray is the helmer with Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Jason Blum, Bradley Fuller, and Sebastien Lemercier also producing.

The first film in the series was “The Purge” in 2013, followed by “The Purge: Anarchy” in 2014 and “The Purge: Election Year” in 2016, which wound up with $79 million in North America and $118.5 million worldwide.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Incredibles 2” will battling for second place behind “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which stars Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. It’s the first full weekend of the third quarter following a record-setting second quarter, which saw the domestic box office pull in $3.33 billion thanks to blockbuster performances by “Avengers: Infinity War,” Incredibles 2,” and “Deadpool 2.”

Overall North American moviegoing on the Fourth of July surged 28.5% to $43.5 million, according to comScore. It was the highest gross for the holiday since 2010’s $44.0 million, led by “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” with $13.2 million.

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