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Box Office: ‘Book Club: The Next Chapter’ skimming $7 million opening, Marvel’s ‘Guardians 3’ staying on top

Book club can’t overturn the comics, as Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will easily hold off the opening of “Book Club: The Next Chapter” to retain the top spot at the box office.

“The Next Chapter” earned $2.14 million on its opening day, projecting a $7 million debut from 3,508 locations for the three-day frame. That’s at the lower end of the pre-weekend estimates. While it’s hoped Focus Features’ version can boost ticket sales over the Mother’s Day holiday, the sequel won’t be able to match its predecessor. Released by Paramount in 2018, the first “Book Club” debuted to $13.5 million before going on to gross $68 million in North America – a solid result for an older comedy, especially before the COVID pandemic is affecting the theatrical landscape.

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Numbers across the board are down for “The Next Chapter,” with a 42% approval rating from top reviewers on global review website Rotten Tomatoes (down from 45%), as well as a lukewarm “B” grade through a research company. Cinema Score (bottom of an “A-“).

Starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, “Book Club: The Next Chapter” follows four best friends as they swap their perfectly designed kitchens for the streets of Italy, throwing a bachelorette party for Fonda’s character, Vivian. In his review, Variety Chief film critic Owen Gleiberman called it a “cookie-cutter sequel”, but still “gently romantic”.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ should have no trouble retaining its No. 1 spot after earning $15.7 million on Friday. Last weekend, Marvel’s entry kicked off with a $118 million opening – both the second-biggest debut of the year and still a slightly disappointing number ever for the superhero sequel.

“Volume 3” appears to be enjoying strong word-of-mouth over the weekend, with some industry projections peg the film down an impressive 50% for its second release. It’s a great take on a summer blockbuster, which usually delivers somewhat loaded box office performances due to fan anticipation. The film’s total domestic gross is expected to exceed $200 million on Saturday.

Ben Affleck’s supernatural thriller “Hypnotic” debuts, battling April remnants for a top five spot on the national charts. With just $940,000 in ticket sales from 2,118 theaters on opening day, the Robert Rodriguez-directed film has little hope of recouping its reported budget of $65 million. Eventually published by Ketchup Entertainment and Relativity Media, the production was still looking for a distributor just three months ago.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” appears to take second place, projecting a haul of $13.3 million for its sixth weekend of release. That’s a mere 28% drop from its previous outing, just another piece of evidence demonstrating the exceptional staying power of the animated adventure. With a total domestic gross of $536 million and a worldwide total of $1.21 billion, the Universal, Illumination and Nintendo production has now overtaken “Minions” to become the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time. .

“Evil Dead Rise” by Warner Bros. is expected to take fourth place after earning $1.1 million on Friday, down just 33% from last weekend. After roughly matching the franchise’s 2013 reboot’s $17 million opening, this year’s crazy horror sequel has now surpassed its predecessor, surpassing $60 million in gross.

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