Box Office Preview: 'Cinderella' Could Waltz to $65M-Plus


The live-action fairy tale stars 'Downton Abbey's' Lily James and Cate Blanchett; Liam Neeson's 'Run All Night' won't hit 'Taken' levels.

Thanks to females of all ages, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella could dance past $65 million in its North American debut in a needed boost for the box office.

The $95 million movie is all but guaranteed to continue Disney's winning streak in turning its classic animated titles into live-action tentpoles. Last year, Angelina Jolie's Maleficent grossed a stunning $758.4 million globally after opening to $69.4 million domestically in late May.

Cinderella — starring Downton Abbey's Lily James opposite Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Richard Madden — may not have Jolie, but it has plenty going for it, with strong reviews and an iconic princess known the world over. To boot, Disney is playing its new Frozen Fever short in front of the film.

Overseas, Cinderella opens in 60 percent of the international marketplace, including China, Russia, Germany, Italy and Mexico. Domestically, Branagh's film will play in 3,845 locations, including 358 Imax runs. Moviegoing has plummeted in recent weeks but Cinderella should mark a turnaround, followed a week later by Lionsgate's YA sequel Insurgent.

Cinderella faces little competition and should benefit from roughly 20 percent of schools and colleges being out for spring break.

The weekend's other new offering, Liam Neeson's Run All Night, hopes to serve as a refuge for males and is tracking to open in the mid- to high-teens. That's well behind Neeson's Taken 3, which debuted to $39.2 million in January.

Jaume Collet-Serra directed Run All Night for Warner Bros. Also starring Joel Kinnaman, Common and Ed Harris, the action-thriller stars Neeson as a hitman who is forced to take on his former boss in order to save his son.