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Box Office: ‘Game Night’ Edges ‘Annihilation’ With $1 Million Opening

New Line’s R-rated comedy “Game Night” has opened with $1 million in Thursday night previews in North America, while Paramount’s sci-fi thriller “Annihilation” took in $900,000 from approximately 1,850 locations.

Game Night,” is expanding to 3,488 locations Friday at it opens against the second weekend of Disney-Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther” — which is poised to take in as much as $100 million during the Friday-Sunday period. “Annihilation” is launching at 2,012 sites and Orion’s romancer “Every Day” will debut at 1,625 venues. “Every Day” took in  $115,000 in Thursday previews on under 1,000 screens.

“Game Night,” starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, has been tracking in the $12 million-$14 million range recently. The film is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein with Bateman and McAdamas as couple whose regular game night suddenly turns into a murder mystery. The cast includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, and Kylie Bunbury.

“Annihilation” is expected to open in the $10 million-$12 million range. Paramount and Skydance, partners on the movie, sold off international rights to Netflix late last year. Alex Garland directed the tale of a biologist, played by Natalie Portman, who joins a mission to find out what happened to her husband inside the “Area X” wasteland.

Both “Game Night” and “Annihilation” have generated strong reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with “Game Night” at 83% and “Annihilation” at 90%. “Every Day” has a 53% score.

“Every Day,” directed by Michael Sucsy, is the first release from MGM’s relaunched Orion Pictures and is heading toward a release of about $3 million. Orion’s model is in the vein of Blumhouse Tilt of modestly budgeted and targeted releases.

Black Panther” is heading into its second frame with a strong possibility of becoming the fourth title to top $100 million in a sophomore session domestically. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” tops that list as it declined 40% to $149 million in late 2015; “Jurassic World’ slid 49% to $106.6 million in June, 2015; and “The Avengers” fell 50% to $103.1 million in 2012.

“As ‘Black Panther’ continues to redefine what is possible in terms of box office in the month of February (with a massive $500 million earned globally after just 9 days in theaters), the film will leap to new heights in a second weekend that will also rewrite the record books,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said.

“Black Panther” has been the major factor in pulling the 2018 domestic box office up 7.2% to $1.69 billion as of Feb. 21. “Black Panther” has grossed $277.5 million in its first six days domestically and crossed the $500 million mark in worldwide box office on Thursday.

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