BOX OFFICE: “Abominable” set up for a weak win, “Judy” not on many screens


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.

Reviews aren’t helping.

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.

“Rambo” and “Ad Astra” are set to fall WAY off, both are projected to his $8.5-9 this weekend. I wouldn’t be shocked if they plummeted. The movies are a dog and a very well groomed dog, respectively.

“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.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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