Box Office: What’s the Fairest Snow White Movie of All Year?

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Following a rather unspectacular Memorial Day weekend, we’re onto June, which is not the greatest of the summer months since casual moviegoers tend to take a break between Memorial Day and 4th of July, even though there’s always a chance of a breakout blockbuster and there’s been quite a number of June hits in recent years.

Hoping to join the ranks is the fairy tale deconstruction that is Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal), starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, creating a more action-oriented version of the classic fairy tale under the aegis of first-time director Rupert Sanders. This is our second Snow White movie of the year following Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror, which opened with just $18 million in March on its way to $61 million, although this movie was always thought to be the far more interesting take on the classic fairy tale. Universal has done a good job marketing the movie with commercials that highlight the best-known elements of the Snow White myths while showcasing the unique visuals, which actually wouldn’t feel too out of place in a Tarsem movie, ironically enough. One would imagine that women of all ages will be interested in the fairy tale aspect of it, especially younger “Twilight” fans wanting to see Kristen Stewart in a new role, although marketing the film as a big medieval war movie or creature-filled fantasy ala “The Lord of the Rings” should help it attract more men than it may have normally.

In any other marketplace, we’d see this one opening with over $40 million but with audiences generally avoiding everything except The Avengers, we think this will open a bit softer in the mid-to-high $30 millions with a good chance of legs if the movie lives up to the marketing. Either way, we think this one should be heading to the $100 million mark or slightly higher.

Mini-Review (Coming Soon!)

Opening in roughly 700 theaters is the Mexican war drama For Greater Glory (ARC Entertainment), featuring an all-star cast including Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Peter O’Toole, Oscar Isaac, Ruben Blades, Bruce Greenwood, Nestor Carbonell and Catalina Sandino Moreno as it tells the story of the Mexican government’s war with the Catholic Church and the brave Cristeros who fought for the country’s religious freedom. This is ARC Entertainment’s very first wide release, following a number of years of VOD and platform theatrical releases, and though the film, directed by Visual FX guru Dean Wright (“The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”), is in English, they’ll likely be targeting areas with large Mexican and Spanish-speaking populations as well as the religious Catholic crowd possibly looking for something grounded in their faith. These types of semi-wide releases can be hard to gauge because often the marketing is being focused in different areas then the norm, but we think this will end up with roughly $2 to 2.5 million this weekend, not enough to get into the Top 10.

After having a huge platform opening last weekend, we could see Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom getting an expansion this weekend.

Review

This weekend last year also saw the release of just one new movie and it was Matthew Vaughn’sX-Men: First Class (20th Century Fox), starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, although it opened with only $55.1 million, which is just a hair more than the original X-Men opened with eleven years earlier. All the returning movies dropped over 50% except for Paul Feig’s comedy Bridesmaids, which continued to hold up its business and be a true summer sleeper. The Top 10 grossed $152 million but unlessSnow White and the Huntsman does way better than we expect, it’s going to be another down weekend.

This Week’s Updated Predictions

UPDATE: We’re upping our prediction slightly on Snow White because it’s getting roughly 500 more theaters than we expected earlier and buzz generally seems to be good even if reviews are mixed at best. Moonrise Kingdom is only expanding into 16 theaters (from four last week) which means it may still remain on the outskirts of the Top 10 with roughly a million.

1. Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal) – $42.1 million N/A (up 3.6 million)

2. Men in Black 3 (Sony) – $29.5 million -46%

3. Marvel’s The Avengers (Disney) – $21 million -43%

4. Battleship (Universal) – $4.9 million -54%

5. The Dictator (Paramount) – $4.8 million -48%

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight) – $4.5 million -33% (Up .2 million)

7. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Lionsgate) – $4.1 million -42%

8. Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.) – $4 million -47%

9. Chernobyl Diaries (Warner Bros.) – $3.4 million -58%

For Greater Glory (ARC Entertainment) – $1.8 million N/A

Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) – $1 million (down 1 million)

Two horror movies are getting very limited releases on Friday, the first one being the sequel Piranha 3DD (Dimension Films), directed by John Gulager (Feast, “Project Greenlight”), as the bloodthirsty prehistoric fish are back terrorizing tourists, this time at a water park. Christopher Lloyd, Paul Scheer and Ving Rhames return, joined by David Hasselhoff, Gary Busey, Danielle Panabaker and David Koechner. It’s being released into select cities, roughly 75 theaters, while at the same time getting a VOD release (not sure how the 3D will work for that).

Sean Byrne’s Australian horror film The Loved Ones (Paramount), which premiered way back at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, will be getting a limited release for midnight screenings in select cities. It stars Xavier Samuel as Brent, a young man who turned down Lola Stone (Robin McLeavy) to go to the prom with her and ends up regretting it when she kidnaps and tortures him. I hate it when that happens.

The dance drama Battlefield America (Cinedigm Entertainment) is the new movie from the creator and director of the hit dance movie You Got Served, starring that film’s Marques Houston in the story of a businessman who hires an instructor to turn a group of misfits into a championship team on the underground dance circuit. It opens in roughly 200 theaters nationwide on Thursday.

Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol’s Oscar-nominated animated film
A Cat in Paris (GKIDS) has been dubbed into English for its U.S. release. It’s about a cat named Dino, who lives with a little mute girl named Zoe, daughter of a Parisian detective, by day, and Nico, a daring cat burglar, by night, two worlds that come together when a gangster kidnaps Zoe. Preceded by Damon Wong’s “Extinction of the Saber-Toothed House-Cat” short, it’s opening in New York and other cities on Friday.

John Sahlberg Jr.’s stoner comedy High School (Anchor Bay Films) stars Matt Bush as Henry Burke, a smart high school student at the head of his class who takes his first taste of marijuana just as the school’s principal (Michael Chiklis) demands mandatory drug testing which could get Henry expelled. Also starring Colin Hanks and Adrien Brody (as a crazy drugdealer), it opens in select cities on Friday.

Interview with Michael Chiklis (Coming Soon!)

Crime writer Henning Mankell’s popular Scandinavian chief inspector Kurt Wallander gets the big screen treatment in Wallander: The Revenge (Music Box Films), starring Krister Henriksson as the investigator ready to retire in his newly-bought house by the sea when the town is rock by a series of explosions that forces him back into action. It opens in New York at the Cinema Village.

Ami Horowitz and Matthew Groff’s doc U.N. Me is an exposé on the United Nation going into the day-to-day politics of the international peacekeeping organization that may not be living up to its ideals.

Pascal Arnold’s Sexual Chronicles of a French Family (IFC Midnight) is a comedy about a young man who is caught filming himself masturbating which allows the rest of his sexually-repressed family to open up about their own sexuality.

Chely Wright: Wish Me Away (First Run Features) is a documentary by Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf about country singer Chely Wright, the first country star to come out as openly gay and how coming out of the closet helped her find personal happiness while finding a new audience. It opens at the Quad Cinemas in New York on Friday.

Actor Blayne Weaver wrote, directed and stars in 6 Month Rule (Abramorama, Film Buff), a comedy about being single, which opens in New York Friday and in L.A. on June 8.

Next week, the month of June motors along with Ridley Scott’s highly-anticipated sci-fi thriller Prometheus (20th Century Fox) taking on the animated threequel Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Paramount/DreamWorks).

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Copyright 2012 Edward Douglas