A glass slipper wasn’t all that smashed in theaters this weekend. Disney’s live-action fairy tale remake, Cinderella, had an estimated $70 million domestic opening. The film couldn’t be touched, taking in more money than the rest of the top ten at this weekend’s box office combined. Cinderella took first place by such a wide margin that it made over six times as much money as the second highest grossing film, Run All Night (which earned an estimated $11 million). Cinderella is Disney’s third highest March opening of all time, and is the sixth highest for the March box office as a whole (not accounting for inflation). The movie’s soundtrack is making plenty of money as well. It’s currently at 16th place in iTunes’ Top Albums list.
The film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, stars Downton Abbey’s Lily James as Cinderella and Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden as The Prince. Additionally, the role of the Evil Stepmother is filled by Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett and the Fairy Godmother role is filled by the ever quirky Helena Bonham Carter. So far, critics and audiences alike have shown a lot of love for the film. It boasts an 83% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an A grade on CinemaScore.
Cinderella carries on the current trend, both from Disney and other studios, of live action fairy tale retellings. At Disney, Cinderella comes on the heels of December’s Into the Woods and will be followed by The Jungle Book in October.
In comparison to its fellow films in Disney’s live action fairy tale remake genre, Cinderella holds its own. In terms of box office alone, 2010’s Alice in Wonderland and 2013’s OZ the Great and Powerful have bested Cinderella’s $70 million opening weekend with $116.1 million and $79.1 million, respectively. Maleficent (2014) trails barely behind with $69.4 million. However, when production budgets are taken into account, Cinderella’s earnings become even brighter. While the production budgets of the previously mentioned films range between $180 and $215 million, Cinderella’s budget is about half as much ($95 million). Although Maleficent and Cinderella’s opening weekend grosses are nearly identical, Cinderella’s seems much more substantial when Maleficent’s $180 million production budget (nearly twice as large as Cinderella’s) is taken into account.
There is no doubt that the success of Cinderella will further encourage this period saturated by fairy tale retellings. On the Disney front, a retelling of The Jungle Book will hit theaters in October of this year, Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass is scheduled for May 27, 2016, and Beauty and the Beast is set to make its appearance sometime in 2016. As of late, Beauty and the Beast has gained a fair amount of media attention after the casting of Harry Potter’s Emma Watson (who was originally asked to star in Cinderella) and Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens for the roles of Belle and the Beast. The film also boasts a script by Perks of Being a Wallflower author/director/screenwriter Stephen Chbosky.
Future non-Disney releases in the genre include Pan, which comes to theaters in July, The Huntsman, a sequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman slated for release in April of 2016, Sofia Coppola’s The Little Mermaid, and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (both of which do not yet have release dates).
What did you think of Disney’s Cinderella? Are you excited for future fairy tale remakes?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes