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Box office: 'Tomorrowland' grabs $725,000 in limited Thursday opening

'Tomorrowland' averages $1,077 per theater in Thursday opening, which could be a good sign

Hoping for a utopian future at the box office, Disney's "Tomorrowland" scored a solid $725,000 in its limited Thursday night opening. 

The latest theme park-based film from the Burbank studio opened in 701 U.S. theaters for pre-shows, which is fewer than the typical Thursday night run for a major release. That makes it difficult to judge what the number portends for the movie, which stars George Clooney and relative newcomer Britt Robertson. 

But the one-day average of $1,077 per theater bodes well. Based on rough extrapolations by the studio, it might have pulled in $2.5 million or more if it had gone into a more typical 2,500 theaters.

The movie is expected to gross up to $50 million in the U.S. and Canada over the long Memorial Day weekend, according to analysts.

"Tomorrowland" is going up against strong holdovers "Pitch Perfect 2" (which topped the charts last weekend) and "Mad Max: Fury Road" (likely to benefit from rave reviews and word of mouth). 

Also opening this weekend is 20th Century Fox's remake of horror classic "Poltergeist." Directed by Gil Kenan, it generated $1.4 million from Thursday night shows, slightly ahead of the recent genre disappointment "Dracula Untold" ($1.3 million) and the low-budget spinoff "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" ($1.2 million).

Analysts expect the new "Poltergeist" to gross $20 million to $30 million over the four-day weekend. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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