Tag Archive: Maleficent


The tale as old as time returns to theaters. There’s no question “Beauty and the Beast” will open above $100 million. How high will it soar?

Disney has had a lot of success bringing animated classics to live action. “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” and “The Jungle Book” all enjoyed strong box office numbers but “Beauty and the Beast” stands in a class above them.

The animated film was released in 1991, meaning fans of that film are old enough to have nostalgia set in and many may have children of their own to bring. “Beauty and the Beast” stands tall as one of those revered films with music that people still sing today.

All that means anticipation is sky high. The movie earned $16.7 million during preview showings, much higher than other recent family hits like “Finding Dory” ($9.2 million). This film will light the box office on fire. Can it catch “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and its $166 million March record? It’ll be close.

Opening weekend prediction: $160-170 million.

You’d think Disney would learn that some expensive projects (“John Carter”, “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp) just aren’t worth it. I mean, with Pixar, you’ve made “Toy Story”, “Up” and more. You have animated classics like “The Lion King” and “Cinderella”. For many, the animated “The Jungle Book” is on the list of their favorite animated films. Get ready for a new live action version of it. Now “The Jungle Book” was a live action film in 1994, but who remembers that one? Exactly. It seems to be a trend with Disney with “Maleficent” (“Sleeping Beauty”) and “Cinderella” also future live action films based on Disney’s animated classics. Don’t forget they made “Alice in Wonderland” from Tim Burton. Ugh. At least one of these films is going to flop…big time.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

I’m really hoping this isn’t the start of a trend. With recent  films like “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Jack the Giant Slayer”, Hollywood has taken on reimagining the fairy tale. Disney is right there with the upcoming “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. But what about reimaging modern classics? That’s right. “Beauty and the Beast” is a masterpiece. So it comes with great annoyance that Disney has plans to remake the film as a darker version, currently titled “The Beast”. Joe Aherne, who wrote “Trance” is penning the script In other Disney news, Emma Watson has dropped out of the live action “Cinderella”, which stars Cate Blanchett.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Let’s give Robert Stromberg a lot of credit. Through his career, he’s worked with James Cameron, Tim Burton and Paul Thomas Anderson, not a bad group of guys if you’re trying to pick up some tips for directing. Now, it looks as though Stromberg is going to have an opportunity to become Hollywood’s next big director. Stromberg is already working on “Maleficent”, starring Angelina Jolie. Disney is betting a lot on Stromberg for this film, which tells the story of the iconic evil queen seen in “Sleeping Beauty”. Now, reports are that he is choosing his next project, “Safari” in what is described as “Avatar” meets “Jurassic Park”. Both projects will be high profile and big budget projects. And, both carry a ton of risk.

Having two expected blockbusters as your first directing credits can be good. It gets your name out there. But, if they bomb well…just ask Taylor Kitsch how “John Carter” and “Battleship” worked out for him. One of those productions was a Disney production and the other an expected blockbuster, just like the two projects Stromberg is working on. If the films are good and do well at the box office, Stromberg has it made. But, even if the films are well received but bomb financially, Stromberg’s name likely won’t be at the top of any high profile project’s list. The bad news is “Maleficent” isn’t coming until 2014 so we’ll have to wait a while. But, Stromberg should tread carefully. Because, having two major films as your coming out party can back fire.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Here is the first photo of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent in the upcoming film of the same name. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.

The film tells the story of Maleficent and the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Yes, Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) and Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter) have joined the upcoming Angelina Jolie vehicle “Maleficent”. The film also stars Elle Fanning and Sharlto Copley. The film also had Lesley Manville, Sam Riley and Kenneth Cranham join.

Here’s what worries me about this film. Fanning. I know, she’s a young actress. And “Super 8” was a good, not great, film. But, her other choices have been…well. The best was “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” but that was overly long and lacked any emotional punch. Then there was “We Bought a Zoo”. But the worst was “The Nutcracker 3D”. That’s a film I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. Hopefully this one is a better choice for Fanning.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.