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Box Office: ‘Office Christmas Party’ Kicks Off With $950,000 on Thursday

Variety logo Variety 12/9/2016 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

“Office Christmas Party” has opened with a moderately spirited $950,0000 in preview showings Thursday night at 2,429 North American locations.

The figure is 23% stronger than the $769,000 preview number for the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy “Sisters” a year ago.

The R-rated “Office Christmas Party” is the only new entry at the box office and is expected to make between $13 million and $15 million at 3,210 sites for Paramount. The raunchy comedy could challenge the third weekend of Disney’s animated “Moana,” which is being forecast for an $18 million take to lift its domestic total to the $145 million range.

It’s the final frame before Disney and Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” touches down on Dec. 16 amid expectations of any opening weekend of more than $130 million.

Office Christmas Party” follows a group of workers who thorw an epic party in a desperate attempt to persuade the no-fun company CEO — played by Jennifer Aniston — from closing the Chicago branch. The ensemble cast includes Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Rob Corddry, Kate McKinnon and Courtney B. Vance, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck directing.

Paramount, DreamWorks and Reliance backed the $45 million production, which has drawn mixed reviews with a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The studios are hoping that the film plays like “Sisters,” which that opened to $13.9 million on its way to $87 million domestically.

Warner Bros.’ fourth weekend of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” should finish third with about $11 million. That should push the Harry Potter spinoff to around $200 million domestically.

EuropaCorp is expanding Jessica Chastain’s drama “Miss Sloane” to 1,598 theaters from four sites. The political thriller is expected to bring in about $5 million.

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