Holiday 2014 Forecast: 'Annie'

by Ray Subers

November 6, 2014

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Release Date: December 19th
Studio: Sony/Columbia
Genre: Musical
Director: Will Gluck
Writers: Will Gluck and Aline Brosh McKenna
Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Cameron Diaz, David Zayas, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Studio Description: Annie is a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan. But everything's about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.

Analysis: Stubbornly, Disney and Sony each scheduled family-friendly musicals in late December this year. Over a month ahead of release, the presumptive winner is Into the Woods: Disney is an absolute powerhouse right now, and it's hard to bet against them and their fantasy musical after Frozen and Maleficent.

Sony seems to be well-positioned on Annie as well. The Broadway musical is more recognizable than Into the Woods, and songs like "Tomorrow" and "It's a Hard Knock Life" are firmly entrenched in pop culture. It also has a strong cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Beast of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhane Wallis, who made quite a name for herself on the awards circuit in early 2013.

Sony has also done a better job driving awareness with Annie, which has had a full trailer running in theaters for months (whereas Into the Woods didn't premiere its full-length spot until early November). The actual appeal of the content is debatable, but it's undeniable that families with young girls know that this is on the way.

Still, these same families will only have so much money to spend at the movies around Christmas. With strong brands backing up Into the Woods and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Annie looks like it could be the odd one out.

$95 million

Similar Movies:
Into the Woods, Saving Mr. Banks, Les Miserables (2012), Rock of Ages, The Muppets, Nine, Bedtime Stories, Mamma Mia!, Enchanted, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dreamgirls

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