The runaway animated hero of “Le Chat BottÃ©” will run away with the box office crown this weekend.
The 3D swashbuckling cat burglar film is expected to gross around $ 40 million this weekend, according to those who saw audience polls ahead of release. Distributor Paramount Pictures expects a softer start of around $ 35 million.
The other two films that will debut in mass circulation will likely have much more modest beginnings. âIn Time,â a sci-fi action film starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, is expected to start with around $ 13 million in ticket sales. “The Rum Diary,” starring Johnny Depp and based on one of Hunter S. Thompson’s novels, is expected to raise between $ 9 million and $ 12 million.
The animated star of “Puss in Boots”, voiced by Antonio Banderas, first appeared as a sidekick of “Shrek” in DreamWorks Animation’s hit franchise about a Green Ogre. The film – funded by DreamWorks for around $ 130 million – was originally scheduled for release by Paramount on November 4. However, Paramount moved the film’s opening to a week-long last month in hopes of attracting a family audience before the onslaught of children. centered images debuting around Thanksgiving, including “The Muppets” and “Happy Feet 2”.
The film is likely to have a slightly worse start than âMegamind,â the studio’s release last fall, which opened at $ 46 million last November. Still, “Puss in Boots” should fare better in the long run than “Megamind,” which fell short of the success of other DreamWorks films.
“In Time” is released by 20th Century Fox but was funded by New Regency Pictures for around $ 40 million. The film – set in a world in which everyone’s body clock stops at age 25 – is the latest film from filmmaker Andrew Niccol, who often explores futuristic subjects in his work.
His first film, “Gattaca” from 1997, presented a world in which individuals were judged on their genetic makeup. The film – which he both wrote and directed – was well received by critics, but only grossed $ 12.5 million worldwide. His biggest commercial success was “The Truman Show”, with Jim Carrey. The 1998 film, written by Niccol, raised $ 264.1 million.
“The Rum Diary” is an exciting project for Depp, who was a longtime friend of gonzo journalist Thompson before the writer committed suicide in 2005. Depp has already channeled Thompson’s mind to the screen, most notably in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998”. “which flopped at the box office with $ 10.7 million.
Depp traveled to University Campuses from Berkeley to Austin to promote the film, which is based on a book written by Thompson in 1961 but was not released until 1998. The film was funded by Graham King’s GK Films for approximately $ 50 million and is distributed by the producer’s distribution company, FilmDistrict.
Abroad this weekend, Paramount and Sony are releasing “Tintin” in 20 countries including Germany, Spain and Belgium, where the comic strip was created 82 years ago. The film has already got off to a good start in France, where it is set to make a stronger debut than “Shrek” and all the “Lord of the Rings” films, with a screening of $ 18 million by Sunday. The 3D animated film, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, will not premiere in the United States for almost two months.
In limited release, Sony Pictures will open Shakespeare’s drama “Anonymous” in 250 theaters. The $ 30 million film was originally slated for release nationwide, but after pre-release surveys indicated that the Roland Emmerich-directed film would have a bad start, the studio curtailed the release last week. Meanwhile, Paramount will open the well-commented love story “Like Crazy” at two theaters in Los Angeles and New York.
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– Amy Kaufman
Photo: A scene from the animation “Le Chat BottÃ©”. Credit: DreamWorks Animation