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Box Office: ‘The Gentlemen’ Opens With $725,000 on Thursday Night

Dave McNary

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STX’s Matthew McConaughey crime comedy “The Gentlemen” has opened with a moderate $725,000 at 1,885 North American locations on Thursday night.

Horror thriller “The Turning” launched with $425,000 at 2,200 sites on Thursday night. The movie, based on Henry James’ 1898 novella “The Turn of the Screw,” stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard and Brooklynn Prince.

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Neither new entry is expected to top Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which has over-performed with $83 million domestically in its first six days. The third installment in the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence franchise beat expectations over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with $73 million and could add another $30 million during its second session.

The Gentlemen” has been pegged to earn around $10 million when it debuts in 2,100 theaters. That would be a solid start, since STX shelled out $7 million to buy U.S. rights from Miramax. McConaughey stars as an American expat looking to cash out of the marijuana empire he built in London. Guy Ritchie directed the starry cast, which includes Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell and Jeremy Strong.

Universal and DreamWorks are launching “The Turning,” which centers on a nanny tasked with taking care of two disturbed orphans. The movie, directed by Floria Sigismondi from a script by brothers Carey and Chad Hayes, is set at a mysterious estate in the Maine countryside. The film is headed for $7 million to $9 million this weekend.

Universal’s awards contender “1917” is likely to finish ahead of “The Gentlemen” and “The Turning.” The World War I epic, which won the Producers Guild’s top award last weekend, has taken in $86 million in less than a month.

This year’s domestic box office is 8.1% ahead of last year, with $712.3 million as of Jan. 23, according to Comscore.

“A robust January sets the stage for what could be a strong first quarter in theaters as the blockbuster appeal of ‘Bad Boys for Life’ coupled with awards-season favorite ‘1917’ will continue to fuel moviegoer excitement and, along with a couple of newcomers and a host of holdovers, will likely help power another solid frame in theaters and keep the early year momentum strong at the multiplex,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.

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