How to be a Latin Lover, the comedy starring Eugenio Derbez, earned $450,000 in Thursday night previews from 925 U.S. locations, taking the lead over James Ponsoldt's The Circle, the indie thriller starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, that earned $430,000 Thursday.
The Circle, debuting in 3,163 theaters this weekend, is set in the near future at a tech company called The Circle, where a new employee (Watson) uncovers a dark agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and society at large. It is tracking to open in the $11 million-$12 million range. It debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday.
John Boyega also stars in the film, which STX Entertainment is releasing via its deal with EuropaCorp, which acquired the project for $8 million. It's produced by Parkes+MacDonald and cost $18 million to make before marketing. It was fully financed by Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
The Circle and this weekend's two other new releases will all cross the finish line behind Universal's Fate of the Furious, which is tracking for a threepeat atop the domestic box office. It's tipped to earn $25 million or more domestically in its third weekend. Globally, Fate of the Furious will zoom past the $1 billion mark sometime on Friday or Saturday.
Lionsgate's Pantelion is releasing How to Be a Latin Lover, starring Derbez opposite Salma Hayek. The comedy, which also stars Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch and Rob Riggle, is projected to gross $5 million-$7 million from roughly 1,000 locations.
Derbez, whose 2013 film Instructions Not Included was a sleeper hit, boasts a devoted fan base. The film follows Derbez as a man who made a career of seducing rich older women who finds himself dumped after 25 years of marriage and must move in with his estranged sister.
Blumhouse's genre label BH Tilt is releasing Sleight, a thriller about a street magician that had a strong debut at Sundance in February. The film is tracking to earn under $2 million from 500 theaters. Starring Jacob Latimore and Dule Hill, the film revolves around a young street magician who must use his wits and tricks to save his sister from kidnappers. It's helmed by J.D. Dillard.
And while the domestic box office will be relatively quiet when it comes to new entries, overseas Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 should have a big weekend. The Marvel and Disney sequel opened Thursday in an additional 17 international markets across all regions, joining the 12 markets already open. It has posted $22.3 million to date. The superhero sequel is projected to score $100 million or more in its offshore launch, and opens in North America next weekend.