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It looks like Now You See Me has already pulled a box office rabbit out of its figurative hat, by topping After Earth at the U.S. box office on Thursday night. The Summit film arrived in theaters last night and managed to bring in $1.5 million for its Thursday night haul, a half-million more than was earned by After Earth, which took in $1 million. Neither film is expected to top Fast & Furious 6 this weekend, but if Thursday night is any indication, Now You See Me may do better than expected.

Variety reported the numbers, pointing out that Now You See Me had a two-hour head start on After Earth. The former opened at 7:00 p.m., while the latter opened at 9:00 p.m. Still, After Earth has a much bigger budget to earn back, at $130 million (estimated), by comparison to the $75 million spent on Louis Leterrier's Now You See Me.

With a 44% Rotten score from reviewers (64 reviews counted), Now You See Me falls into the "Rotten" category, but it still comes out noticeably ahead of After Earth, which has managed to inch up a couple digits to 14% (99 reviews counted). That low score likely won't help the film. Then again, those moviegoers eager to see Will Smith & Son in a sci-fi popcorn flick may be willing to overlook the negative reviews. Now You See Me may not have the Smiths - or a story of two space rangers battling the elements on an abandoned earth - going for it, but it does have a solid cast and a fun premise involving a group of illusionists who manage to pull off a bank heist and Robin-Hood their take to their audience. Both films are rated PG-13, as is Fast & Furious 6, so on rating, there's no advantage to note.

Variety points out that Fast & Furious 6 is expected to hold its #1 spot for its second weekend, in spite of the franchise's history of steeply dropping at the box office after opening weekend. The drop is expected to be less this weekend. Assuming that's the case and Thursday night's numbers are any indication, Fast & Furious will have another first-place finish this weekend.

What will you see this weekend?

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