It took a while, and several dead bodies along the way, but Liam Neeson has finally met his match:
After a couple of slow weeks at the multiplex, the box office should come alive this weekend thanks to one big movie. Opening at 3,845 locations, “Cinderella” is the latest in Disney’s live-action fairy tale movie series. The first was “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010, which earned over $1 billion worldwide. The next installment, “Oz the Great and Powerful” earned just over $493 worldwide. And last year “Maleficent” was a massive hit earning over $758 million worldwide.
The new live action “Cinderella” is directed by Kenneth Branagh, and stars Lily James in the title role as Ella (“Cinderella”) with Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine (the Wicked Stepmother), Sophie McShera as Drizella, Holliday Grainger as Anastasia and Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother.
While “Cinderella” doesn’t looks quite as appealing as say “Maleficent,” the movie does have a secret weapon: A seven-minute “Frozen Fever” short that’s running ahead of the movie. That alone will bring in a ton of kiddies and families. With this in mind “Cinderella” should easily win the weekend box office with well over $50 million.
Opening at 3,171 locations, “Run All Night” reunites star Liam Neeson with director Jaume Collet-Serra. The two previously teamed up for the underrated “Unknown” and the so-so “Non-Stop.” In February 2014, “Non-Stop,” was a pretty big hit. The film opened Super Bowl weekend to $28.9 million on its way to $92.2 million total.
The big problem for “Run All Night” will be fighting Liam Neeson fatigue. The guy is great in everything, but by now we’ve seen him act tough and beat up bad guys countless times. And this movie comes a little over two months after “Taken 3” hit theatres, so it’s not like we haven’t seen Neeson do his thing for several years.
Plus, “Run All Night” is rated “R”, which could restrict its audience dramatically. Still, “Run All Night” should land in second place this weekend with around $14 million.