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‘Night School’ to Top Box Office Over ‘Smallfoot’

Night School” is kicking off its box office run with top marks.

The Universal film starring Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart is on its way to an estimated $26 million from 3,010 North American sites to land at No. 1, though the debut of Warner Bros.’ animated “Smallfoot” is close behind with $23 million from 4,131 domestic locations.

Night School” stars Hart as a man who must get his GED after facing job stagnation, with Haddish as his unconventional teacher. Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, Romany Malco, Keith David, and Loretta Devine also star in the comedy, which was directed by Malcolm D. Lee. The film is sitting at a 30% Rotten Tomatoes score and 60% audience score, and received a A- CinemaScore. Writing credits include Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matt Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, and John Hamburg. “Night School” earned about $9 million on Friday.

Meanwhile, “Smallfoot,” which features a star-studded voice cast including Channing Tatum, Zendaya, James Corden, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Yara Shahidi, Danny DeVito, Jimmy Tatro, and Common, yielded about $6 million on Friday. Karey Kirkpatrick directed the film about a yeti who comes to believe the legendary “smallfoot” creatures are real after coming across one from a script he co-wrote with Clare Sera. The film has an A- CinemaScore and 69% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

“The House With a Clock in Its Walls” is likely to slot into third place in its second frame, adding $12 million to its current $44 million total. Jack Black and Cate Blanchett star in the fantasy film, which was adapted from the children’s book of the same name.

Battling for fourth place is Lionsgate’s “A Simple Favor” with an estimated $6 million and Warner Bros.’ “The Nun,” forecasted to bring in $5 million. Starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, Paul Feig’s neo-noir has totaled $48 million since debuting to $16 million two weeks ago. Corin Hardy’s horror blockbuster has amassed $310 million worldwide, including $205 million internationally, in 22 days.

Horror pic “Hell Fest” is headed for an estimated $4.8 million from 2,297 locations after reeling in $2 million on Friday. Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, and Tony Todd star in the movie, which was co-financed by CBS Films and Tooley Entertainment and is distributed by Lionsgate.

The low-budget feature, which had a production budget of only $5.5 million, follows a group of friends who are terrorized by a masked serial killer that turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show. Though it has a lowly 35% Rotten Tomatoes rating, audiences have responded well to film with a 70% audience score.

Robert Redford’s rumored last film, “The Old Man & the Gun,” opened at five theaters for an estimated $125,000 weekend total. Redford stars as Forrest Tucker, a career criminal and prison escape artist. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was directed by David Lowery, who also wrote the script from a 2003 New Yorker article. Casey Affleck, Donald Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits, and Sissy Spacek also star. The film has an 88% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Pure Flix Entertainment and Pinnacle Peak released “Little Women” at 643 theaters for an estimated $865,000. With a script by Clare Niederpruem and Kristi Shimek and directed by Niederpruem, “Little Women” stars Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Lucas Grabeel, Ian Bohen, and Lea Thompson. The film is a modern retelling of the classic literary work by Louisa May Alcott, which also received the TV treatment this year and is being adapted for the screen by Greta Gerwig for a 2019 release.

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