Watch out, “Avatar,” the month of “M3GAN” has begun at the box office.
The killer doll movie, from Universal and Blumhouse, won’t knock off “Avatar: The Way of Water” from the top of the box office charts, but it’s aiming to turn a robust profit in its opening weekend. It has already made $2.75 million from Thursday previews from 2,950 North American theaters. On Friday, it’s expanding to 3,509 locations.
“M3GAN” is looking to carve up $17 million to $20 million in its opening weekend, which would be a killer result since it cost only $12 million to produce. The PG-13 horror will take a slice out of “Avatar: The Way of Water’s” weekend haul, where it’s been dominating week after week since it released on Dec. 16. James Cameron’s sequel is expected to bring in $30 million to $35 million. That’s roughly a 50% decrease from last week, when it earned $63.4 million over the New Year’s Day weekend and a total of $82.4 million in the four-day holiday break.
The star of “M3GAN” is the Model 3 Generative Android, better known to her legions of horror fans as M3GAN. She’s a talking, life-like robot programmed to be the best friend for a young, recently orphaned girl named Cady, played by Violet McGraw. The trailer for “M3GAN” went viral after the doll’s creepily realistic dance moves became an online sensation and inspired countless memes and dance videos.
Things, unsurprisingly, take a bloody turn in the movie when the M3GAN doll becomes overprotective of Cady and stops at nothing to keep her safe. The film is directed by Gerard Johnstone and produced by horror maestros Jason Blum and James Wan. Allison Williams stars as Gemma, Cady’s aunt and the inventor of M3GAN, and Amie Donald portrays the doll while Jenna Davis provides her voice.