Disney’s “Cinderella” reboot is tracking to reign over the weekend box office with an estimated $70 million in ticket sales.
After grossing $2.3 million on Thursday night, the princess picture is expected to waltz to a stellar opening Friday of $25 million.
“Cinderella” is looking like it could be nearly as strong as “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which opened March 8, 2013, to $79 million. Also contributing to the pic’s success: the seven-minute long “Frozen Fever” short that runs before each showing.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, “Cinderella” has been earning rave reviews from critics. It stars Lily James as the titular rags-to-riches princess, with Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as her prince and Cate Blanchett in the notorious stepmother role.
The movie opens in 3,845 theaters, 358 equipped with Imax and 337 premium large format. A wide international opening includes China, Russia, Mexico, Italy and Germany.
“Cinderella” is the latest in a recent string of successful Disney redos. The studio’s recent live-action fables “Alice in Wonderland” and “Maleficent,” a riff on “Sleeping Beauty,” raked in $1 billion and $758.4 million, respectively. “Cinderella” is likely to pull similar numbers despite its lack of star power. “Alice” and “Maleficent” had large budgets to recoup, each approximately twice “Cinderella’s” $95 million.
The projected success of “Cinderella” surely strengthens Disney’s confidence in the “Beauty and the Beast” update on its slate; Josh Gad’s casting was announced by the studio Friday morning.
Those unwilling to watch the princess dance all night can catch Liam Neeson in “Run All Night,” which is expected to pull in $12 million-$14 million this weekend. The thriller opened to $455,000 in Thursday night previews.
Topping last week’s B.O. was Neill Blomkamp’s robot pic “Chappie,” which earned $13 million. This weekend will likely see its numbers dip below $10 million.