‘Captain Marvel’ is likely to crush ‘Wonder Park’ at the box office
Marvel Studios’ hit superhero film “Captain Marvel” will rule the box office charts again this weekend, as Paramount Pictures’ long-in-the-works animated kids’ film “Wonder Park” braces for a rocky ride at theaters.
For the record:
8:00 a.m. March 14, 2019An earlier version of this article included a mention of “Sonic the Hedgehog” and described it as a Paramount Animation movie. It is a Paramount Pictures film.
“Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson as Air Force pilot-turned intergalactic savior Carol Danvers, is expected to gross about $70 million in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday, following up its impressive $153-million opening. The film, which cost at least $175 million to produce, had grossed nearly $500 million worldwide as of Monday, including $325 million overseas (led by $95 million from China).
“Captain Marvel” is the 21st film from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Studios and the first movie from the unit to feature a solo female lead. The film, which delivered a much-needed boost to the North American box office, comes less than two months before the heroine appears again in the studio’s highly anticipated “Avengers: Endgame.”
Here’s what else to watch:
Wonder, or blunder?
The big-budget, computer-animated “Wonder Park,” meanwhile, will probably open with a lackluster $10 million to $14 million Friday through Sunday, according to people who’ve read pre-release audience surveys. The film, about an imaginative young girl whose dream of an elaborate amusement park springs to life, cost $100 million to make, according to industry estimates.
“Wonder Park” first got the greenlight in 2014, when Viacom-owned Paramount was trying to fill its pipeline with more animated movies after its distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation ended.
Featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Garner, the film suffered a blow when Paramount fired director Dylan Brown after complaints about “inappropriate and unwanted conduct.” Brown disputed the claims.
“Wonder Park” will probably be the latest disappointment from Paramount’s small animation business, which previously released “Sherlock Gnomes” and “Monster Trucks.” The studio hired Mireille Soria in 2017 to overhaul the animation division.
‘Five Feet’ from stardom
CBS Films and Lionsgate will target the young female demographic with “Five Feet Apart,” a tear-jerker romance about two teen cystic fibrosis patients who meet and fall in love in a hospital, though they’re forbidden to touch. The low-budget production, starring Cole Sprouse (“Riverdale”) and Haley Lu Richardson (“The Edge of Seventeen”), is projected to open with $6 million to $9 million in domestic receipts.
The only other new wide release this weekend is Participant Media’s “Captive State,” released by Focus Features. Rupert Wyatt directed the thriller about a Chicago neighborhood under occupation by an alien force, which is poised to gross less than $5 million.
Getting ‘Green’ from China
Participant’s racial drama “Green Book” has enjoyed a solid bump at the box office since it won the best picture Oscar last month, bringing its U.S.-Canada total to about $80 million.
Surprisingly, the film, which cost $23 million to produce, has also done strong business in China, the world’s second-largest box office market.
The movie about a white bouncer who drives a black pianist on a concert tour through the Jim Crow South grossed $27 million in China last week, bringing its total in the country to an impressive $44.5 million, according to consulting firm Artisan Gateway. For comparison, the big-budget “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” has collected $48 million in the Middle Kingdom in the same amount of time.
“Green Book’s” feel-good message probably resonated with Chinese moviegoers. But the grosses are also a sign that, although the Oscars may not have the commercial clout they once did in the U.S., they can be a boon in China.
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