The $50-million R-rated crime comedy is expected to push Universal's "Fifty Shades of Grey" from the top of the U.S. box-office charts. Going into the weekend, analysts projected a weekend take of up to $22 million for "Focus."
Fellow newcomer "The Lazarus Effect" launched with $350,000 from Thursday night screenings that started at 8 p.m. It is expected to pull in $12 million to $14 million over the weekend, analysts said.
The low-budget horror film was co-produced by Blumhouse, the company behind the "Purge" franchise, and Mosaic for just $5 million. Relativity Studios acquired it for $3.3 million.
Meanwhile, Oscar winner "Birdman" will expand to 1,000 theaters this weekend to capitalize on its best-picture win.
In limited release, Focus Features will roll out "Maps to the Stars," starring Julianne Moore and