Ghost in the Shell is expected to lock up the third spot, ahead of holdovers Power Rangers and Kong: Skull Island, as it bows in 3,440 sites. It won’t do the stellar numbers that Johansson’s Lucy earned in 2014 when it took in $2.8 million in previews on its way to a $43.9 million domestic debut. Paramount is offering up 10 Cloverfield Lane as a comp, since that film earned $1.8 million Thursday for a $24.7 million opening weekend.
Johansson stars as a cyber-enhanced soldier heading a counter-terrorism unit as she tries to uncover her past in the stylish, futuristic film helmed by Rupert Sanders. The story is adapted from the Japanese manga by Shirow Masamune, and also stars “Beat” Takeshi Kitano, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche.
The PG-13 sci-fi film cost $110 million and was produced by Paramount, DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment. It also opens in more than 50 international markets this weekend, and will open in China on April 7.