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John Krasinski-Ryan Reynolds ‘IF’ Earns $1.8M in Box Office Previews

John Krasinski-Ryan Reynolds ‘IF’ Earns $1.8M in Box Office Previews

Writer-director John Krasinski‘s original family film IF has started off its box office run with $1.8 million in Thursday previews.

The fantasy pic, headlining Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming alongside an A-list voice cast, explores the world of discarded imaginary friends and what happens when a young girl and her neighbor try to reunite them with their previous human pals.

The live-action/CGI animated Paramount pic is tracking for a domestic debut in the $40 million range from more than 4,000 theaters, but the family marketplace continues to struggle in the post-pandemic era. Nor is original fare an easy proposition. It’s hard to read too much into Thursday previews since families don’t start turning out in earnest until Friday and Saturday, generally speaking, although some exhibitors are worried the movie could have a hard time getting to $40 million based on presales, according to sources.

Reviews aren’t so great IF‘s current critics score on Rotten Tomatoes is 52% — but audience scores showed promise Thursday night, both among general audiences and kids/parents, according to exit polling.

The impressive voice cast features Phoebe Walker Bridge, Steve Carrel, Emily Blunt, Louis Gossett Jr., Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Christopher Meloni, Awkwafina, Blake Lively, George Clooney, Matthew Rhys, Bradley Cooper, Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key. The live-action cast is rounded out by Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Alan Kim, Liza Colón-Zayas and Bobby Moynihan.

Unless there is a total upset, IF should top the box office and wrest the crown from Disney and 20th Century Studio’s male-fueled Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. The movie, which is only days away from crossing $100 million domestically is expected to earn $25 million to $28 million this week if all goes well

Lionsgate’s latest horror offering, Strangers: Chapter One, also opens nationwide this weekend and took in $1.2 million in previews. That’s a promising start for a movie tracking to open in the $7 million to $9 million, although horror fare can be front-loaded. The pic will be playing in 2,856 theaters by Friday.

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Directed by Renny Harlin, Strangers stars Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez who are forced to spend the night in a remote cabin when their car breaks down in a creepy small town. Panic ensues as they are terrorized by three masked strangers.

Another new title on the marquee is Studio Canal and Focus Features’ Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black. While launching nationwide in just over 2,000 cinema, Back to Black is far less commercial in scope than a biopic such as Rocketman or Bohemian Rhapsody and may only open to $4 million to $6 million, according to prerelease tracking. Previews came in at only $375,000.

It also has been rejected by many critics, which is never a good thing for an adult drama (its Rotten Tomatoes score is presently 36%). The movie, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Marisa Abela as the iconic singer-songwriter, is tracking for $4 million to $6 million domestic. Focus/Universal acquired domestic and certain international rights for under $20 million from Studio Canal, which produced the movie and worked with the Winehouse estate

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