Brad Pitt’s latest film, Bullet Train, is heading toward a slow start. The action flick opens in 4,300 theaters across North America this Friday, but box office experts don’t seem to have high hopes for it. As of now, Bullet Train is eyeing $30 million – or more – in its opening weekend.
Reviews for the film hit today and they seem to be mixed. Bullet Train currently has a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics noting the Pitt-led film feels flat and lacks steam. While a $30 million opening would be enough to lead the domestic box office over the weekend, it’s a lower projection than anticipated given the film is an action-packed thriller aimed at adult men. The R-rated film was costly to produce – around $90 million – so it’ll be interesting to see how the box office plays in the coming weeks. Poor word of mouth, though, could take down the film before it ever gets a chance to speed off. Bullet Train could also potentially see competition from Jo Koy‘s Easter Sunday which opens on Friday, too.
Bullet Train has also been the subject of controversy which could hinder its box office potential. Based on a book of the same name by Kōtarō Isaka which features primarily Japanese characters. Rather than cast a primarily Asian cast, Sony and those involved with the project used the “fictional people” argument to justify the decision not to bring in Japanese actors. Just a few days ago, director David Leitch argued that the characters are “not real people, and maybe they’re not even Japanese.” While Isaka is okay with the casting decisions made regarding Bullet Train, it’s likely the controversy will ultimately impact the movie’s overall potential when all is said and done.
Bullet Train hits theaters on Friday.