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Awards

‘Magnificent Seven’ is gunning for the box office top spot in battle with ‘Sully’

‘Magnificent Seven’
Chris Pratt plays Josh Faraday and Denzel Washington plays Chisolm in a scene from “The Magnificent Seven.”
(Sam Emerson)

“The Magnificent Seven,” a remake of John Sturges’ classic 1960 Hollywood western, looks like it will wrangle the top spot at the box office this weekend, leaving the Tom Hanks-led “Sully” in the dust.

The MGM and Sony’s Columbia Pictures’ release is expected to gross $30 million to $45 million in ticket sales from the United States and Canada through Sunday, according to people who have reviewed pre-release audience surveys.

That is likely to be enough to topple “Sully,” which enjoyed a second straight weekend atop the box office last week with $22 million and is expected to lose some air in its third-week performance.

The “Magnificent Seven” remake is directed by Antoine Fuqua and centers on a disparate squad of seven gunslingers — including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio — who are hired by a woman to defend her town from bandits led by a robber baron. The film comes nearly six decades after the original.

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The PG-13 film — which cost $90 million to make and opens in 3,600-plus locations — is expected to draw young audiences, thanks to Pratt and Washington, and older fans of the 1960 picture.

“The Magnificent Seven” also will face a decidedly less threatening, but capable, crew: a gaggle of storks who want to deliver babies again.

The Warner Bros. animated film ”Storks” will debut in 3,900 locations. It cost $70 million to make, which is relatively modest for a major animated effort. 

Written by Nicholas Stoller (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”), “Storks” is the second film to come of out Warner Bros. since the studio revved up its animation business three years ago by forming a consortium of artists aimed at delivering one high-profile release a year. The first, 2014’s “The Lego Movie,” became a box-office smash, with a sequel in the works.

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is projected million to the nited Statesthis weekend 

“Storks,” which features the voices of Andy Samberg and Kelsey Grammer, is expected to do well with families. It is projected to draw $30 million to $37 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada. The film will also be released this weekend in 33 international territories, including China, Russia and Brazil.

“Sully,” about the 2009 emergency landing of a US Airways passenger jet, should continue to draw a mature segment of the audience, albeit at a modest rate. It could gross about $12 million to $15 million this weekend. Meanwhile “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” the third film in the “Bridget Jones” series, is expected to take a hit. Those in its target female audience who are mothers may instead take their kids to see “Storks.”

Opening in limited release is Disney’s feel-good live action film “Queen of Katwe,” a biopic of a Ugandan chess prodigy.directed by Mira Nair. The film will debut on 52 screens this weekend before opening wide next week. Meanwhile, the 1950s-set melodrama “The Dressmaker,” which stars Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth, also opens in limited release.

The most-read Entertainment stories this hour »

yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com

Twitter: @villarrealy

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