Sony’s “Bullet Train” has left the station, picking up $4.6 million at the domestic box office in Thursday night previews.
With star Brad Pitt in the conductor’s chair, “Bullet Train” is hoping to ride out the weekend with a $30 million total and a No. 1 spot on the box office charts. Sony spent $90 million to produce the high-octane action movie, plus millions more on marketing, so “Bullet Train” will need to keep punching tickets through the summer to justify its price tag.
From David Leitch, the director-producer behind action-packed movies like “John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde,” “Deadpool 2,” “Nobody” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw,” “Bullet Train” follows an assassin named Ladybug (Pitt) who faces a deadly team of killers aboard a high-speed train from Tokyo to Kyoto. The cast of cutthroat mercenaries includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock and Benito A. Martínez Ocasio, aka Bad Bunny.
“Bullet Train” is targeted at adult men, who have been hitting up theaters in full force, but they’ve mainly been going for the latest superhero flick (like “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) or sequels (like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World: Dominion”).
This weekend will be a good test of how eager audiences will be to try original fare. In addition to “Bullet Train,” Universal’s comedy “Easter Sunday,” starring Jo Koy, is aiming for a $5 million to $7 million opening in its debut weekend. A24’s teen slasher “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” starring Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Lee Pace and Pete Davidson, is also getting a limited release in New York and Los Angeles.