BOX OFFICE: “Pikachu” pokes “Endgame” Friday, a $53 million opening — “Hustle” hustles up $14

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A very good Thursday night/Friday gave “Detective Pikachu” a narrow win on the opening night of the Mother’s Day weekend at the box office — $20 million to “Avengers: Endgame’s” $18, according to Deadline.com.

“Endgame” is still projected to win the weekend with another $70 or so million added to Marvel’s coffers, taking it past “Black Panther’s” records, for those keeping score at home.

But “Pikachu” is performing up to its most ambitious predictions, a $50-55 million weekend. Exactly as well as the “Spongebob Movie,” because that’s who it’s for.

hustle2“The Hustle” is opening at a robust $13-14 million or so. Hathaway hating reviews aren’t helping it, but as I said in my review, it plays funnier than the last version of this “Bedtime Story” (1964) remake, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (1988). I showed that one to my mother on a visit for the weekend last night, and “Scoundrels” isn’t aging well at all. “Hustle” has some weak links, but not the two stars — Hathaway and Rebel. Take Mom to this one on “Mother’s Day.” PG-13 rated Rebel? Funny enough.

“Long Shot” is sticking around, “Poms” isn’t opening big enough to show it is reaching its older, doesn’t go to the movies much clientele — yet. The AARP comedy may hit $7 million if it gets a robust Sat. and Sunday. It could. I took my mother to a matinee showing in Durham, NC, filled with seniors like herself. It plays to that crowd.

“Tolkien” isn’t winning over art house audiences, mostly thanks to middling reviews, one suspects. Then there’s the fact that it’s about the bloke who wrote “Lord of the Rings.” Art house habitues don’t dive into fanboy lit, and the fangirls and fanboys aren’t showing up either –$3.5 million or so is slated for that one.

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