Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” grossed $1.3 million on Thursday night.
The result is a mixed bag for the fantasy adventure, which is struggling to attract the kind of crowds it needs to make a profit on its sizable $100 million-plus budget. It is on pace to open to a dispiriting $35 million.
Its Thursday preview numbers are in line with those for “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” which started with $1.5 million en route to a $34 million bow, and “Wonder,” which kicked off to $740,000 before ending the weekend with $28 million. It’s hard to fully assess “A Wrinkle in Time’s” prospective box office results from late night previews, because it is a family film. Its target audience is more likely to turn up on Saturday and Sunday when school is out.
“A Wrinkle in Time” made headlines because it is the first film at this budget level from a female director of color (“Selma’s” Ava DuVernay). The picture has also generated excitement because of its commitment to showing more representation on screen at a time when Hollywood is being faulted for failing to back movies featuring female leads and protagonists who are black, Asian, or Latino. “A Wrinkle in Time’s” cast includes actors of color such as Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Storm Reid.
Reviews, however, have been lackluster and the film faces stiff competition from another Disney film, “Black Panther,” which continues to put up big numbers roughly a month after it opened. “Black Panther” is expected to retain its box office crown, and gross $40 million. It is poised to cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office.
“A Wrinkle in Time” — adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s classic fantasy novel — follows a young girl (Reid), her step-brother (Deric McCabe), and a friend (Levi Miller) as they embark on a journey that spans time and space in search of her missing father.
Thanks to “Black Panther” and Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” the overall domestic box office leads last year by 7.7% with a total of $2.16 billion as of March 7, according to comScore. “Black Panther” has also taken in $414.1 million internationally and is launching in China this weekend, with a strong $18 million in its first night in the Middle Kingdom. It’s probable that “Black Panther” will become the 33rd movie to cross the $1 billion worldwide mark this weekend.
Aviron Pictures’ “Prey at Night” is showing the strongest forecast of the three, with an opening around $8 million. Set in a secluded mobile home park, the horror sequel to 2008’s “The Strangers” is directed by Johannes Roberts, and stars Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman.
“The Strangers: Prey at Night” took in $610,000 in Thursday night previews. It will probably compete for third place with the second weekend of Jennifer Lawrence’s spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” which has reeled in $21.7 million in its first six days.
Entertainment Studios’ “The Hurricane Heist” is set for around $7 million from an estimated $35 million budget. Directed by Rob Cohen, the bank robbery thriller follows a band of tech hackers who plan to use a Category 5 hurricane to cover their tracks as they execute a $600 million bank heist. The cast includes Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, and Ralph Ineson.
Amazon Studios and STX Films’ action-comedy “Gringo” is aiming for approximately $5 million. Nash Edgerton’s film features David Oyelowo as a businessman who works for a company that has developed the “weed pill.” He is sent to Mexico to handle the manufacturing of the product, but while out partying, ends up getting kidnapped by a drug cartel. Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, and Thandie Newton round out the cast.
Also premiering this weekend is Focus Features’ thriller “Thoroughbreds,” opening on 549 screens. Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke portray childhood friends who reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart. Cory Finley makes his directing debut with the film that features Anton Yelchin in his final on-screen role. The actor died at age 27 in a freak accident in 2016.