Cinderella has a Ball at the Box Office
By John Hamann
March 15, 2015
The biggest difference between Cinderella and the two earlier fantasy films is quality. Reviews have been marvelous for Cinderella, thanks to Branagh’s soft touch and Cate Blanchett’s performance as the wicked stepmother. RottenTomatoes has Cinderella at 84% fresh. Comparatively, Oz came in at 59% fresh (31% from top critics), and Maleficent at 49% (44% from top critics). The A Cinemascore for Cinderella was also welcome news, as it matches Maleficent, which had strong legs, opening at $69 million and finishing domestically with $241.4 million.
Cinderella is also going to have some decent legs. Tying the Frozen short to Cinderella was brilliant, as was announcing the Frozen sequel prior to Cinderella’s opening. On the international front, Cinderella also earned $62.4 million, so Disney won’t have to worry about losing money on this one.
Coming in second is Liam Neeson and Run All Night, but audiences appear to be tiring of his usual "protect the family" thing. After three Takens, Non-Stop and A Walk Amongst the Tombstones, Liam Neeson films are beginning to wane like found footage horror. Run All Night earned only a few hundred thousand from Thursday night previews before going on to a weekend gross of only $11 million, well off of the $38 million average of the Taken films, and below the $28.9 million that Non-Stop earned on its opening weekend. This opening is more along the lines of Walk Amongst the Tombstones, a more serious action film that opened to $12.8 million. Made for $50 million, Run All Night will have to be picked up by Neeson’s international fame; otherwise this ends as a loss.
Critically, Run All Night received better reviews than the Taken franchise, but that’s not saying much. Its 58% fresh rating was in line with Non-Stop’s 60% fresh rating, but not enough for anyone to sit up and take notice. The addition of Ed Harris to a Liam Neeson actioner goes a long way for me, and it may have worked for audiences as well. The Cinemascore came in at a decent A-, better than all Taken films except the first, and the same score as Non-Stop. The good news is that Non-Stop was a very leggy action film, and if Run All Night can match that multiplier, this one will at least approach the budget stateside and then get bailed out overseas.
If estimates hold, Kingsman: The Secret Service moves from a fourth place finish last weekend, to a third place finish this weekend despite two new films opening above it. The legs for Kingsman improve every weekend, with this weekend being its fifth. After opening to $36.2 million, the British actioner fell 49% in weekend two, 35% in weekend three, and 30% in weekend four. This weekend, the Mathew Vaughn picture earned another $6.2 million, again falling a decent 25% versus the previous frame. Kingsman crossed the $100 million domestic mark on Wednesday and now sits with an impressive $107.4 million at the domestic box office. Overseas, the $81 million release has also picked up over $150 million, putting Kingsman into a potential franchise position.