The film played at 2,775 North American locations starting at 7 p.m. That’s the same preview gross as Universal’s thriller “The Girl on the Train,” which opened with a $24.5 million weekend in 2016.
Fox is expanding “Red Sparrow” to 3,056 sites on Friday, with recent tracking in the $15 million to $19 million range. Lawrence is returning to collaborate with Francis Lawrence, who directed the final three “Hunger Games” movies.
“Red Sparrow,” written by Justin Haythe and based on a novel by Jason Matthews, centers on a Russian ballerina who’s recruited into a spy agency after suffering a career-ending injury, and facing a bleak and uncertain future. The producers are Peter Chernin, Steve Zaillian, Jenno Topping, and David Ready. The cast also includes Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Mary-Louise Parker, and Charlotte Rampling.
Reviews have been mixed for “Red Sparrow,” which currently holds a 52% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The thriller, which had been originally set for an October release, carries a $69 million budget.
MGM’s re-imagined “Death Wish,” starring Bruce Willis as a surgeon turned vigilante, is also launching this weekend at 2,847 venues amid forecasts of about $14 million to $16 million. The action-thriller took in $650,000 on Thursday night.
“Death Wish” had also been scheduled to open last fall, but MGM decided to push it back from Nov. 22 to March 2. “Hostel” director Eli Roth helmed the new “Death Wish” and former MGM co-chairman Roger Birnbaum produced. The $30 million pic also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Kimberly Elise, Mike Epps, and Elisabeth Shue. Initial reviews have been harsh with a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney-Marvel’s third frame of “Black Panther” is expected to dominate moviegoing with at least $55 million. The superhero blockbuster, starring Chadwick Boseman, became the 17th-highest domestic release in only 13 days on Feb. 28, with a North American total of $428.7 million. “Black Panther” could hit the $500 million mark by the end of the weekend.