Take your kids to “Abominable” and tell me I’m wrong. It plays like an animated dramedy made for the Chinese market.
It’s laugh-starved and China-flattering in the extreme. The villains are a Brit (Eddie Izzard) and his North American hireling (Sarah Paulson).
You could not kiss up more to the one-party state without starting the story in Hong Kong, criticizing pro-democracy protestors.
It’s the over-familiarity of the visuals — not the Chinese settings, but the Yeti/Bigfoot/”Missing Link” focus — that might have parents and kids thinking “Meh, seen it” in North America and the West.
Can Dreamworks be happy with the $20 million projections facing one of their animated blockbusters as it hits screens? A $35 million take is poor, by their standards. Pixar and Disney Feature Animation releases routinely open in the $60 range.
Now, $20 seems like a lowballing prediction from a marketing department looking to create the perception of a winner when it does $30, but the picture’s been labeled a loser before it steps into the animated kiddie entertainment void.
“Downtown Abbey” could still have some pent-up demand, but will the older audience showing up for that want to see it again? A $17 million second weekend take seems low to me, but BoxOfficeMojo sayeth so.
“It Chapter 2” has been falling off steeper than expected, but should still edge them.
“Judy” is opening on 461 screens, a potential Oscar contender from a studio that doesn’t know how to manufacture that outcome. It’s opening a bit early to set itself up as a front-runner, but platforming it may be the smart play.
A $1.4 million weekend is projected.