“Dr. Seuss’ Lorax” is set to garner a lot of greenery at the box office this weekend.
The 3D animated film, based on a popular 1971 book by Dr Seuss, could start with as much as $ 50 million, according to those who saw audience polls before release. The weekend’s only other new release, the low-cost, R-rated party flick âProject X,â will likely start with a healthy sum of around $ 20 million.
âThe Lorax,â about an eco-friendly creature who works to save trees, features the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift. The film was directed by Chris Renaud, the filmmaker behind 2010’s âDespicable Meâ. The film, also produced by Universal Pictures’ family unit, Illumination Entertainment, debuted with $ 56.4 million domestically and ended up grossing $ 543 million worldwide.
Universal spent around $ 70 million to fund the film, which will debut overseas next weekend. This is the second animated film based on a Dr Seuss property, following 20th Century Fox’s 2008 release “Horton Hears A Who!” This photo, which also opened in March, has raised nearly $ 300 million worldwide.
“The Lorax” received far more positive reviews than “Project X,” which follows three teenagers trying to throw the biggest party in high school history. The film is the latest to fall in the growing genre of found images, which this year includes the horror film “The Devil Inside” and the superhero film “Chronicle”.
While the steamy “Project X” doesn’t feature any recognizable actors and was directed by newcomer Nima Nourizadeh, it has generated a lot of buzz online. Warner Bros., which spent just $ 12 million to produce the film, marketed it widely to young men on Twitter and Facebook, including fan comments in its promotional campaign.
âProject Xâ is a departure from Warner Bros., which is known for big budget tents. Over the next few months, the Burbank studio owned by Time Warner Inc. will release films such as âWrath of the Titansâ and âDark Knight Risesâ. However, the cheap “Project X” was an exciting project for producer Todd Phillips, who is highly regarded at the studio for his work on the hit comedy franchise “Hangover”.
Meanwhile, The Weinstein Co. will expand Oscar winner “The Artist” from 966 locations to 1,756 theaters. The black-and-white silent film – which also won the Academy Awards for Best Director Michel Hazanavicius and Lead Actor Jean Dujardin last weekend – has grossed $ 32.9 million since its Thanksgiving release . During the same period last year, Weinstein Co.’s 2011 winner “The King’s Speech” sold tickets for $ 114 million and ultimately grossed $ 139 million in the United States and Canada. .
In a limited version, Focus Features is launching the drama “Being Flynn”, starring Robert De Niro and adapted from Nick Flynn’s 2004 memoir on homelessness, in four theaters.
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Photo: A scene from “Le Lorax”. Credit: Universal Pictures