The box office and the industry is in need of counterprogramming working after several non-tentpoles were squashed by Super Mario Bros Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and hopefully that will be Focus Features’ Book Club: The Next Chapter. With $500K in Thursday previews, the movie is looking at a $7M-$10M start at 3,507 theaters. Hopefully it clears double digits, something that will be evident on Mother’s Day when the Universal specialty label is expecting a pop in business.

As a comp, 80 for Brady, another Jane Fonda movie from earlier this year, did $750,000 in Thursday previews that began at 3 p.m. That pic went on to open to $12.7M, but the pic had discount ticketing across most major circuits to get the older female audience in. In this post-pandemic environment, that debut was a win for an older female skewing movie. Hopefully, Book Club 2 can do the same.

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'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3' Tops $300M Global, Propelling Disney Across $2B WW So Far In 2023

The first Book Club was a domestic acquisition by Paramount, and proved to be a sleeper with a $13.5M opening and a 5x leg-out for a $68.5M domestic take — very good for pre-pandemic for a movie such as this. Paramount wasn’t interested in the sequel, so Fifth Season, the financier, sold global to Focus Features here; a negative pick-up in the $20M+ sphere. Fifth season was also behind 80 for Brady which cost around $20M, and made $40.2M WW.

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will dominate in weekend 2 with a hopeful -60% hold, meaning around $47M. Week one of the James Gunn directed threequel did $152.6M at 4,450 theaters, which is 17% behind the first week of Vol. 2 ($183.1M, which finaled at $389.8M) and it’s 14% ahead of the first week of the original GOTG ($134.3M, final US B.O. of $333.1M). Thursday was $7.1M even with Wednesday.

Illumination/Universal/Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros Movie did $1M last night for a fifth week of $23.6M at 3,909 theaters and a running total of $523.2M.

New Line’s Evil Dead Rise made $490K, -1% from Wednesday, for a third week of $8M at 3,036 theaters and running cume of $56.4M.

Lionsgate’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret made $289K, -17% from Wednesday, for a second week of $4.76M and a $14M domestic take.

Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 at 1,658 made $223K yesterday, -2% for a seventh week of $3.3M at 1,658 theaters and a running cume of $181M.

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