‘Mag­nif­i­cent Seven’ rides Den­zel’s star power in de­but

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - KICKOFF -

Movie stars don’t open movies any­more? Tell that to Den­zel Wash­ing­ton and Tom Hanks.

The pair, once co-stars in “Philadel­phia,” have to­gether dom­i­nated the last three weeks of the box of­fice. Af­ter Clint East­wood’s Mir­a­cle on the Hud­son docu­d­rama “Sully,” star­ring Hanks as Cap­tain Ch­es­ley Sul­len­berger, topped ticket sales of the last two weeks, “The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven” rode Wash­ing­ton’s star power to an es­ti­mated $35 mil­lion de­but over the week­end, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sun­day.

Though both Wash­ing­ton and Hanks are in their early 60s, their box-of­fice clout might be just as po­tent as ever. The de­but of “Sully” was Hanks’ fourth best open­ing of his ca­reer; the open­ing of “The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven,” An­toine Fuqua’s re­make of John Sturges’ 1960 Western (it­self a re­make of Akira Kuro­sawa’s “Seven Sa­mu­rai”), is Wash­ing­ton’s third best.

Both films boasted other en­tice­ments. East­wood is him­self a draw. And the en­sem­ble of “The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven” most no­tably in­cludes Chris Pratt, the “Guardians of the Gal­axy” star and a po­ten­tial heir ap­par­ent to Wash­ing­ton and Hanks.

But Wash­ing­ton and Hanks ranked as the over­whelm­ing rea­son au­di­ences went to see ei­ther movie, ac­cord­ing to comS­core’s sur­vey of movie­go­ers.

“They are the model of con­sis­tency and they are the model of qual­ity,” said Paul Der­garabe­dian, se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst for comS­core. “Th­ese are guys who can draw a huge au­di­ence in any type of movie that they’re in. It’s not like they’re pi­geon­holed into one kind of fran­chise. Den­zel Wash­ing­ton can be part of a genre, the Western, that doesn’t ex­actly have teenagers scram­bling to the movie the­ater.”

Sony Pic­tures’ “The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven” wasn’t cheap to make — it cost about $90 mil­lion — so its path to prof­itabil­ity isn’t as­sured. Di­rected

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