Box Office: 'Cinderella' Aiming for Fairy-Tale Opening of $60 Million-Plus

Jonathan Olley
From left: Lily James, Cate Blanchett

Females will rule all the way around at the March box office — between Disney's redo of the classic princess tale and YA sequel 'Insurgent,' which opens a week later.

Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella is on course for a sizable $60 million-plus debut at the North American box office, a fairy-tale beginning for Disney.

Rolling out in theaters March 13, the live-action redo of Disney's classic animated musical from 1950 stars Downton Abbey's Lily James in the title role, while Cate Blanchett plays the evil stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter is the fairy godmother.

Cinderella — which currently sports a 100 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes — isn't the only female property set to dominate the March box office.

Insurgent, the second installment in Lionsgate's YA Divergent franchise, opens one week after Cinderella, on March 20, and is tracking to open to $57 million. That's ahead of the $54.6 million debut of Divergent on the same weekend in March 2014, although that movie didn't have the advantage of being in 3-D. The sequel features Shailene Woodley and Theo James returning to the starring roles.

Box-office pundits will be watching to see if the two films cannibalize each other, should teenage and tween girls turn out in force for Cinderella — as they did for Disney's Maleficent, which grossed a staggering $758.4 million globally after its debut in May 2014, thanks in no small measure to star Angelina Jolie.

Aiding Cinderella will be Frozen Fever, a new animated short film from Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Frozen Fever includes an all-new original song by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad will reprise their roles in the short, which is produced by Peter Del Vecho and Aimee Scribner.

Frozen Fever is set on Anna's birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa's icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.

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