Box Office Preview: 'Dumbo' Hopes to Take Flight With $50M-Plus
Other new offerings include the anti-abortion movie 'Unplanned' and Matthew McConaughey's stoner comedy 'The Beach Bum.'
Tim Burton's live-action Dumbo takes flight this weekend in theaters, nearly eight decades after Disney's classic animated pic about a baby elephant with fantastical ears first played on the big screen.
The family film should have no trouble wresting the box office crown from holdover Us with a domestic debut of $50 million or more for Disney, according to prerelease tracking. Dumbo is opening simultaneously in virtually every major foreign market, including China.
One hurdle remains: The movie is far from a critical darling (its current Rotten Tomatoes score is 54 percent). Then again, Burton and Disney's live-action Alice in Wonderland — which had a 51 percent score — grossed $1.02 billion at the global box office in 2010.
Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Eva Green star in Dumbo, which tells the story of a crumbling circus whose troubles are compounded when a baby elephant is declared a laughingstock because of the pachyderm's abnormally large ears. But when the troupe discovers the animal can fly, the circus makes a comeback. Enter a persuasive entrepreneur with not-so-nice intentions.
Arcade Fire performs the iconic song "Baby Mine" for the end credits of Dumbo.
Burton was last in theaters in 2016 with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, from 20th Century Fox.
Dumbo is the first of three high-profile remakes that Disney has planned for this year. Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, starring Will Smith, is set to open May 24, followed by filmmaker Jon Favreau's The Lion King on July 19.
Elsewhere, Jordan Peele and Universal's Us should remain a potent force in its sophomore outing after opening to a massive $71.1 million last weekend. It's not uncommon for even the most successful horror pics to fall 60 percent; if so, that would put Us at around $28 million to $29 million for the weekend. Exceptions include Peele's first feature, Get Out, which only slipped 15 percent in its second frame after debuting to $33 million.
Marvel and Disney's Captain Marvel has a shot at finishing its fourth weekend with $1 billion in global ticket sales.
In addition to Dumbo, new offerings include Unplanned, the R-rated, anti-abortion drama that faith-based distributor Pure Flix is releasing. Tracking suggests the pic will debut between $3 million and $5 million from roughly 1,000 locations.
Unplanned tells the true story of Abby Johnson, who defected from Planned Parenthood to become a pro-life activist. The movie was partially financed by Michael Lindell, the multimillionaire founder of My Pillow, who is a born-again Christian and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump.
Harmony Korine's stoner comedy The Beach Bum, starring Matthew McConaughey, is opening in fewer than 1,000 cinemas and hence hasn't appeared on tracking. The film's cast also includes Zac Efron, Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher and Snoop Dogg.
Beach Bum, which premiered at SXSW, will also have to contend with meek reviews. Its current Rotten Tomatoes score is 52 percent. Vice Studios and Neon are partners on the pic.