News

Holiday 2014 Forecast: 'Into the Woods'

by Ray Subers
Into the Woods
 

 
November 3, 2014

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Into the Woods

Release Date: December 25th
Studio: Disney
Genre: Musical
Director: Rob Marshall
Writers: James Lapine
Cast: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lucy Punch, James Corden, Christine Baranski
Studio Description: A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children's stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.

Analysis: Into the Woods is the latest movie in Disney's recent return to the fairy tale princess genre: it follows up Tangled, Frozen and Maleficent, all of which earned over $200 million. The movie is adapted from James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical, and its star-studded cast includes Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine.

Live-action musicals seem to have a box office ceiling: in the past decade, none have earned over $150 million. Into the Woods does share similarities with each of the biggest hits from the past decade: Les Miserables ($148.8 million) also opened on Christmas Day, Mamma Mia! ($144.1 million) also starred Streep, and Enchanted ($127.8 million) was also a tongue-in-cheek look at Disney princesses. Given the strong Disney brand and the star power associated with the project, it's a safe bet that Into the Woods winds up in this area as well.

The odds that it goes higher than $150 million seem slim right now, though. The movie faces tough competition from Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Annie and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; there's only so much money to go around, and those three are poised to split at least $400 million between them.

Also, the Into the Woods Broadway musical doesn't seem to have the same kind of fanbase as Les Miserables did a few years ago. Disney will be able to drum up more interest as the date approaches, though it is odd that there's no main trailer as of the first week of November.

Finally, there's an argument to be made that the presence of Johnny Depp as "The Wolf" is actually a negative: his latest string of flops seems to reinforce the notion that audiences are really, really tired of his shtick.

Forecast:
$140 million

Similar Movies: Maleficent, Frozen, Les Miserables (2012), Brave, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Alice in Wonderland (2010), Nine, Mamma Mia!, Enchanted, Dreamgirls, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago

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