Although the hugeness of “The Hunger Games” is bound to make up the box-office story again this weekend, a couple noteworthy films getting big releases enter the fold to close up March (and Spring Break) for most folks. The first is the Greek mythology sequel “Wrath of the Titans” and the second is a quirky family-friendly re-imagining of the “Snow White” tale entitled “Mirror, Mirror.”
Now in Theaters
Directed by Tarsem Singh
Written by Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller, The Brothers Grimm (story)
Starring: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane
Summary: In this retelling of the classic story, Snow White (Collins) is a princess that will inherit her father’s throne, but the Evil Queen (Roberts) has plans to get rid of her. Snow White takes refuge with a band of dwarves and learns the skills to reclaim her birthright.
The Word: The first of the fairy tale revisions thrust into development after “Alice in Wonderland” blew up the box office in 2010, “Mirror, Mirror” puts a family adventure comedy twist on “Snow White.” Most people expected something darker from visual auteur Tarsem Singh, but the film has a distinctly family-friendly vibe.
Rotten Tomatoes: 54% (mixed)
My Thoughts: Although I don’t doubt the costumes and the set decoration will be magnificent, the trailers make the film seem dated, as if it were something I would’ve expected to see as a child growing up in the ’90s. The mixed reviews suggest that the quirky humor is hitting the right notes with only about half its audience.
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Written by Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson, Greg Berlanti
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes, Édgar Ramírez
Summary: Many years after the events of the first film, Zeus (Neeson) calls on Perseus (Worthington) to stop his rebellious son Ares (Ramirez), god of war, who along with Hades (Fiennes) has unleashed the Titans (thought to have been imprisoned forever) on Earth.
The Word: Worthington looked set for global superstardom after “Avatar” and “Clash of the Titans” came out with four months of each other. He cooled off in 2011, but hopes to prove “Clash” was no fluke as it made lots of money but was not a hit with critics or most audiences. Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles”) fills the shoes of Louis Leterrier, but both have an in-your-face action style anyway.
Rotten Tomatoes: 27% (bad)
My Thoughts: The budget looks to have increased significantly in this one and the action (which was unmemorable in the first) appears to have been ratcheted up big time. Despite highly disliking the first film, the intensity of this one from the looks of it has me almost willing to forget about its existence. Either way, I’m not optimistic about the story.
Box Office Predictions
Huge openings tend to forecast huge second-week drops, but The Hunger Games seems to be a different beast, one that’s building interest and not something that fans inflated the first five days (ehem, “Twilight) that won’t have any legs. I think $65-75 million can be achieved this weekend.
Wrath of the Titans is an interesting one. ”Clash of the Titans” opened to $61 million two years ago, but times have seriously changed. It rode the 3D wave of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Avatar” as did its star, Sam Worthington. It was also not well-received at all despite making money. It appears Warner Bros. expects to make bank overseas and doesn’t care so much about its domestic performance. I expect “Wrath” to make what most well-branded and appealing male-skewed action flicks do around this time of year: somewhere in the $30-million range.
It’s been a long time since “The Lorax,” which bodes well for Mirror, Mirror. It won’t get the 15-30 audience as many anticipated, but it will surely do well in the family demographic provided Relativity has marketed it well to young ‘uns. Live-action fare doesn’t do animated numbers, but with Julia Roberts $20 million should be the very bottom of the range.
With no comedy competition, 21 Jump Street should hold up well yet again with probably $10-12 million. The Lorax should begin to drop at a greater clip with “Mirror, Mirror” in the fold, so $6-7 million oughta do it.