Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie' grabs $750,000 in Thursday night showings

The robot film 'Chappie' generated $750,000 in ticket sales from Thursday night showings

Writer-director Neill Blomkamp's robot film "Chappie" is powering up for what looks like a slow weekend at the box office.

The movie, which opens wide in the U.S. this weekend, generated $750,000 in ticket sales from Thursday night showings, putting it on track to gross around $14 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film. Weekend forecasters had projected a take of up to $20 million.

The latest from the director of the 2009 hit "District 9," "Chappie" has received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, evidenced by a 31% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Nonetheless, it is expected to top the U.S. box office through Sunday, besting 20th Century Fox's "Unfinished Business" and Fox Searchlight's "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

The R-rated "Chappie," in which the title character becomes the first robot to think for itself and feel, stars Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Dev Patel and Sharlto Copley

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