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Film News Roundup: ‘Birds of Prey’ Sees Strong First-Day Presales

In today’s film news roundup, “Birds of Prey” is seeing impressive presales, Guillermo del Toro has started shooting “Nightmare Alley” and Billy Zane’s “Final Kill” finds a home.

PRESALES

Mobile ticket app Atom Tickets is reporting strong first-day presales for Margot Robbie’s superhero team-up “Birds of Prey.”

“Birds of Prey” sold more tickets on Wednesday, the first day of presales, than “Suicide Squad” and “Wonder Woman” in the same time period. It’s the third-best first of day of presales for a DC title behind “Aquaman” and “Joker.”

“Harley Quinn is a beloved DC character and the best part of ‘Suicide Squad,’ so fans have been eagerly anticipating her headlining her own movie,” said Alisha Grauso, editorial lead for Atom Tickets. “Audiences are far savvier now about comic book movies and an ‘R’ rating no longer stops people from buying tickets. There’s a real appetite there for quirky, unique storytelling that breaks the mold, and ‘Birds of Prey’ absolutely delivers on that front.”

The film is officially titled “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” and opens Feb. 7 as the only wide launch for that frame. “Birds of Prey” also stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco and Ewan McGregor. Early tracking has forecasted a $50 million domestic opening.

PRODUCTION START

Guillermo del Toro has begun principal photography on Searchlight Pictures’ thriller “Nightmare Alley,” starring Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett.

Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman and David Strathairn also star. Cooper portrays an ambitious young carny with a talent for manipulating people who hooks up with a psychiatrist, played by Blanchett, who is even more dangerous than he is.

Del Toro wrote the script with Kim Morgan, based on the novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. Del Toro is producing with J. Miles Dale. The duo won a best picture Academy Award for “The Shape of Water” for Fox Searchlight.

ACQUISITION

Cinedigm Corp has acquired all North American distribution rights to the thriller “Final Kill,” starring Billy Zane, Randy Couture and Ed Morrone, and plans a March release.

Directed by Justin Lee, the story centers on a mercenary hired to protect a couple hiding out in Central America from a ruthless crime family. The film also features Danny Trejo, James Russo and Drew Pinsky.

Filmed in both the United States and Costa Rica, “Final Kill” is produced by Lee, Daemon Hillin and Melanie Young. Executive producers include Vasily Bernhardt, Ian Niles and Richard Switzer, with Michael Finuoli as co-producer.

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