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Box Office: ‘Rings’ Scares Up $800,000 on Thursday Night

Variety logo Variety 2/3/2017 Dave McNary
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Paramount’s horror movie “Rings” has opened with $800,000 in Thursday night preview showings at 2,155 North American locations. STX’s sci-fi romance “The Space Between Us” took in a quiet $170,000 on Thursday night in its first showings.

Paramount is expanding “Rings” to 3,371 sites on Friday with muted expectations in the $10 million to $12 million range for the Super Bowl weekend as it battles the third weekend of Universal-Blumhouse’s sturdy “Split.”  “The Space Between Us,” is looking at a modest launch of between $8 million to $10 million at 2,812 locations.

The preview number for “Rings” is comparable to “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” which launched with $722,000 in previews in October on its way to a $14.1 million opening weekend.

“Rings” is opening with a straight-forward pitch about an evil videotape — “First you watch it. Then you die.” Paramount is reviving the franchise 15 years after it launched “The Ring,” starring Naomi Watts in a remake of a 1998 Japanese horror film. “The Ring” was a major success with nearly $250 million in worldwide box office as was “The Ring Two” with $160 million in 2005.

“Rings” stars Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden and Bonnie Morgan. The first trailer showed a malevolent spirit causing a jet airplane crash along with images of defiled churches and whispered voiceovers chanting “seven days, seven days, seven days” in order to portray the lead actress’s hellish final week on Earth.

 F. Javier Gutierrez is directing “Rings,” and Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing. “Rings,” which has a $25 million price tag, is also opening in 36 international markets this weekend.

“Split,” starring James McAvoy as a maniac with 24 personalities, has shown surprising strength in its first 13 days with more than $82 million in domestic box office. The M. Night Shyamalan thriller could take its third consecutive box office title and is pegged to take in between $10 million to $12 million.

The second weekend of  Amblin-Universal’s “A Dog’s Purpose” and Fox’s awards contender “Hidden Figures” should also come in around the $10 million mark.

“The Space Between Us” stars Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, and Britt Robertson. Butterfield portrays the first human born on Mars, and the inter-planetary friendship he forms with a foster girl (played by Robertson) who lives on Earth. “The Space Between Us” cost $30 million to produce. STX’s financial exposure was less than $3.7 million after foreign sales, tax credits, and co-financing deals are taken into account.

Sony Pictures Classics is opening Robert De Niro’s comedy-drama “The Comedian” at 848 locations this weekend with expectations for a modest start in the $2 million to $3 million rang.

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