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Box Office: ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Could Tangle Up to $40 Million in Debut

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is dominating the domestic box office as it heads for up to $40 million in its opening weekend at 3,813 North American locations, early estimates showed on Friday.

Clint Eastwood’s drug-runner drama “The Mule” should finish second with about $18 million at 2,558 venues, at the high end of expectations. MRC-Universal’s sci-fier “Mortal Engines” is coming in under forecasts, heading for a dismal $8 million at 3,103 venues. It will probably fall behind Universal’s sixth frame of “The Grinch” at $12 million and Disney’s fourth weekend of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” at $9 million.

“Spider-Verse,” a re-invention of the Spider-Man universe, launched Thursday night with $3.5 million, while “Mortal Engines” grossed a quiet $675,000 in previews.

Sony has been forecasting that its animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” will debut to $30 million, while rivals contend that early buzz could lift its start to the $40 million range. The movie carries a $90 million budget.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is Sony’s seventh pic about the webslinger. The six “Spider-Man” movies have collectively generated $4.9 billion worldwide. Last year’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” starring Tom Holland, hauled $880 million globally and a sequel will bow next year.

“Spider-Verse” features Shameik Moore voicing Miles Morales, a half-Puerto Rican and half-African-American teenager from Brooklyn who is bitten by a genetically modified spider, develops spider-like abilities, and discovers an alternative universe where more than one Spider-Man exists.

Warner Bros. is targeting older audiences for “The Mule.” Eastwood stars in his first movie since 2012’s “Trouble With the Curve,” portraying a 90-year-old who gets caught smuggling cocaine for the cartel. Reviews have been mixed, earning the film a 64% Rotten Tomatoes score.

“Mortal Engines” is a dystopian science-fiction story from “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” filmmaker Peter Jackson. The project, which carries a $100 million budget, is set in a world where motorized cities prey on each other. Critics have not been impressed, giving the film a 30% score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Mortal Engines” has already begun its rollout in 43 international territories, including Korea, Russia, and Australia, where it’s earned $20.1 million.

Fox’s “Once Upon a Deadpool,” a PG-13 revamp of “Deadpool 2,” is not showing much traction as it heads for a $1.3 million weekend after picking up about $1.7 million on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The Grinch” should wind up the weekend having earned $240 million in 38 days.

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