Anne Hathaway, Box Office, Cate Blanchett, Hereditary, Movies, Ocean's 8, Sandra Bullock, THR Online, USA

‘Ocean’s 8’: Gender-Bending Caper Pic Earns $4M in Box-Office Previews

Elsewhere, Sundance horror sensation ‘Hereditary’ launches with $1.4 million in Thursday-evening previews.

The star-studded, female-fronted Ocean’s 8 grossed $4 million in Thrusday previews as it began its box-office run, followed by Sundance Film Festival horror sensation Hereditary with $1.4 million.

From Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, the Ocean’s Eleven spinoff should have no trouble stealing the box-office crown from holdover Solo: A Star Wars Story, with a domestic debut in the $35 million-$40 million range. By Friday morning, Ocean’s 8 will be playing in a total of 4,145 theaters.

Ocean’s 8 is among a slew of gender-swapping reboots and remakes being plotted by Hollywood studios. Directed by Gary Ross, the $70 million film stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter. Two summers ago, the female-led Ghostbusters earned $3.4 million in previews on its way to a $46 million debut.

Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, the estranged sister of Danny Ocean, who was portrayed by George Clooney in the trio of Ocean’s movies directed by Steven Soderbergh. The story follows the familiar Ocean’s formula, with Debbie getting released from prison and then assembling a female-led gang of criminal specialists who plot to rob the Met Gala in New York.

Ocean’s 8 opens 11 years after Ocean’s Thirteen hit the big screen, debuting to $36.1 million domestically. By comparison, Ocean’s Twelve opened to $39.2 million in December 2004, while Ocean’s Eleven launched to $38.1 million in December 2001. Adjusted for inflation, those figures rise to $48.1 million, $57.7 million and $61.7 million, respectively.

Solo, which continues to fade fast at the box office, is expected to earn no more than $15 million in its fourth weekend.

This weekend’s two other new entries domestically are A24’s critically acclaimed supernatural horror pic Hereditary and Global Road’s Hotel Artemis, both of which are tracking to bow in the $6 million-$8 million range from 2,694 cinemas.

Hereditary, which premiered in the midnight section of the Sundance in January, started off with a strong $1.4 million in Thursday previews. The R-rated pic marks the feature directorial debut of Ari Aster and stars Tony Collette opposite Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne. The story follows a family who is haunted following the death of the clan’s matriarch.

Hotel Artemis, playing in 2,407 theaters, is an action-thriller directed by Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce in his feature helming debut. The starry cast includes Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day and Dave Bautista.

Set in a near-future Los Angeles, the story follows a nurse (Foster) who runs a secret, members-only emergency medical ward for would-be crooks.

There’s big action overseas this weekend as Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom launches in its first 48 markets ahead of its June 22 North American opening. The tentpole is on course for a foreign start of $140 million or more after collecting $20 million from seven markets on Wednesday, including a record-shattering $9.7 million in South Korea.

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