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Box Office: ‘Yesterday’ Opens With $1.3 Million on Thursday Night

Fantasy-drama “Yesterday” has launched with a respectable $1.3 million at 2,200 North American locations in Thursday night preview showings.

The Universal-Working Title film, starring newcomer Himesh Patel as an aspiring songwriter, has been forecast to debut in the $10 million range this weekend at 2,603 sites. “Yesterday” is set in an alternate reality in which Patel’s character skyrockets to superstardom after a freak accident leaves him as the only person who remembers the Beatles.

Lily James, Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran, who plays himself, co-star in the movie, which features new versions of hit Beatles songs. Danny Boyle, the filmmaker behind “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting,” directed “Yesterday,” written by “Love Actually” screenwriter Richard Curtis. “Yesterday” premiered in May as the closing night film of the Tribeca Film Festival. Reviews have been mixed with a 61% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” should easily maintain the No. 1 spot during the weekend after collecting $118 million in its inaugural weekend. Its North American total topped $167 million in its first six days amid positive reviews and solid word-of-mouth. If “Toy Story 4” sees a performance similar to recent Pixar movies “Incredibles 2” and “Coco,” the latest installment will probably earn another $52 million to $64 million during its second weekend in theaters.

New Line’s “Annabelle Comes Home” got a head start on the weekend with a Wednesday launch at 3,603 domestic venues, pulling in $10.8 million in its first two days and placing the supernatural horror-thriller on track take in another $20 million by the end of the weekend. The film is the third Annabelle title about a possessed doll and the seventh entry in the Conjuring Universe. “Annabelle Comes Home” stars McKenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. It carries a 67% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Disney is expanding its Marvel mega-hit “Avengers: Endgame” this weekend by doubling its run to 2,025 locations with an exclusive chance to see an unfinished deleted scene that didn’t make it into the initial film, as well as an introduction video by director Anthony Russo and a sneak peek at “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”  “Avengers: Endgame,” which has pocketed $2.75 billion to date, needs $43 million to beat James Cameron’s “Avatar” and become the highest-grossing film of all time.

The first half of 2019 is ending with total North American box office at $5.44 billion as of June 26, down 9.7% from last year, according to Comscore. Summer is also off 6.7% to $1.96 billion. “Avengers: Endgame” is the top domestic performer with $835 million after 62 days.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore, notes that the weekend is the start of a potentially massive month of July for the industry.

“A group of charming toys, a Fab Four fable, a pair of possessed dolls and a second chance for the number one movie of the summer will provide the perfect lead in for what promises to be a huge Fourth-of-July week at the multiplex,” he added. “Though the Industry has struggled to catch up with last year’s summer season, this looks to be the start of what could be the strongest month of the year so far with early July expected spin a web of excitement with the debut of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ and then to roar when the much-anticipated release of Jon Favreau’s ‘The Lion King’ hits theaters on July 19.”

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