Elsewhere, the R-rated comedy ‘Tag’ earns $1.3 million in previews, while ‘Gotti’ sports a 0 rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney and Pixar’s Incredibles 2 flew to a record-shattering $18.5 million on Thursday night, beating the $9.2 million earned by Finding Dory to score the biggest preview gross of all time for an animated film.
Not only that, the movie’s preview performance outpaced the likes of Beauty and the Beast ($16.3 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($15.4 million), Thor: Ragnarok ($14.5 million) and Justice League, while almost matching the $18.6 million recently earned in previews by Deadpool 2.
Incredibles 2 is the first studio animated film of the 2018 summer season, and appears destined to race past the $135 million domestic opening of Finding Dory to score the biggest start of all time for an animated release, not adjusted for inflation.
Brad Bird returned to direct the sequel, while Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson and John Ratzenberger reprise their voice roles. New additions to the voice cast include Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush and Isabella Rossellini.
It has been nearly 14 years since The Incredibles played on the big screen, opening to $70.5 million in November 2004 on its way to earning $633 million globally, not adjusted for inflation.
The sequel follows a family of superheroes as they try to balance having a normal life with their powers. Bob Parr (also known as Mr. Incredible and voiced by Nelson) is a househusband who must deal with son Dash’s (Huck Milner) sarcastic remarks, daughter Violet’s (Vowell) teenage rebellion and baby Jack-Jack’s burgeoning superpowers, while his wife, Helen/Elastigirl (Hunter), heads off to save the world. Soon, the whole family must suit up to battle a new villain, Screenslaver.
Incredibles 2 is the first Pixar release to hit theaters after Disney’s announcement last week that animation chief and Pixar co-founder John Lasseter will exit the studio at the end of the year.
Two other films are new to the marquee this weekend, including New Line’s ensemble comedy, Tag. Tracking shows Tag opening in the $12 million-$15 million range. However, the R-rated pic earned $1.3 million in Thursday-evening previews, ahead of recent New Line comedy Game Night, which went on to earn $17 million its first weekend.
Hoping to rally male moviegoers in particular, the R-rated pic stars Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress as childhood friends who, as grown men, continue to play an annual game of tag.
Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis and Leslie Bibb also star, with Jeff Tomsic helming in his feature directorial debut. The story is based on a real-life group of friends, whose exploits were written about by The Wall Street Journal.
The weekend’s third new offering is Sony’s Superfly, from music video helmer Director X. The movie opened Wednesday, and has earned roughly $2 million in its first two days for a five-day debut in the $8 million-$12 million range.
So far, Superfly is coming in No. 5 at the box office.
It is an understatement to say that Superfly, a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly, was made on an accelerated schedule. The $16 million film began production in mid-January in time for its mid-June release. The music-centric movie includes original songs from Future, who is also a producer alongside Joel Silver.
Superfly stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis and Jennifer Morrison, and centers on a career criminal that desperately tries to escape the Atlanta drug scene.
New offerings at the specialty box office include the indie mob biopic Gotti, starring John Travolta. The movie opens in roughly 500 theaters. Kevin Connolly (Entourage) directed the film, which co-stars Kelly Preston, Travolta’s real-life wife, and Stacy Keach.
Gotti — which currently sports a 0 rating on Rotten Tomatoes — endured its own saga in getting to the big screen. Lionsgate was originally set to release the film, but the producers wanted a full-fledged theatrical release, so took back the rights. Sunrider and Vertical Entertainment, along with the controversial subscription service MoviePass, are partners on the film.