2010 Preview: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

by Brandon Gray
Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel in The Sorcerer's Apprentice

February 1, 2010

Release Date: July 16
Studio: Buena Vista
Genre: Fantasy
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Writer: Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard and Matt Lopez
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Monica Bellucci, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina
Studio Description: Balthazar Blake (Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Molina). Balthazar can't do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and, together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It'll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."
Watch the Trailer

Analysis: Director Jon Turteltaub, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and actor Nicolas Cage are at it again with The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which follows their collaboration on the highly successful National Treasure movies. Very loosely inspired by the segment of the same name from Walt Disney's Fantasia (itself adapted from a poem by Goethe), the fantasy action-comedy zaps into theaters July 16, opposite Inception, and there's probably no coincidence that the last two Harry Potter movies opened at the same time of year.

Despite its Mickey Mouse roots, Sorcerer's Apprentice has aimed its wand beyond children and their parents, courting teens and up with its slick special effects mayhem in Manhattan. Disney delivered fantastical New York antics with the 2007 release of Enchanted, which grossed $127.8 million. Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer, of course, have also had unlikely success in the past with the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which they will try to repeat earlier in the summer with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Sorcerer's Apprentice's foundation isn't nearly as popular as Harry Potter's, therefore Potter-like initial grosses should not be expected. But, like Potter and others, Apprentice features a big battle of good versus evil and the training of a chosen one (played by Jay Baruchel from Tropic Thunder and Knocked Up). Its Disney's third and final big gun of the summer after Prince of Persia and Toy Story 3, and they'll be putting all of their formidable marketing might behind it. The average gross of Apprentice's similar movies is around $120 million, and the movie will need to soar much higher than that to impress.

Similar Movies: National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Enchanted, Inkheart, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Harry Potter, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Fantasia, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Excalibur, Highlander

Related Charts: Sword and Sorcery, Fantasy—Live Action

Related Stories:
'Enchanted' Bewitches Thanksgiving
'National Treasure' Leads Christmas Rush

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2010 Preview

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> MORE: News | Features
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/11 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/10 (38 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 7/9 (33 tracked)