With a full season of films still pouring out, Into the Woods is still raking in money at the box office. The Stephen Sondheim-based film raked in $19.1 million over the weekend of January 4.
This makes Into the Woods the second highest-grossing film domestically for the week. For its second week in theaters, Into the Woods took in $91 million domestically.
The success of the film isn’t too surprising. Aside from Annie, it’s the only relatively new release that’s geared towards the family. Sure, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is family friendly, but the marketing for Into the Woods is very strong, plus the Disney name never disappoints with families.
If you aren’t a huge fan of the original musical, which is a witty soup based on the characters of the Brothers Grimm tales, Disney’s lighter version of Into the Woods is still fun for all ages, but completely forgettable.
There are a few bright spots. After all, it’s impossible not to make something out of its talent pool with triple threats like Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Johnny Depp in the mix, but the cuts from the stage version to the film were so severe that they’re often given barely any material to play with.
The second act feels like a watered down underdeveloped mess. None of the characters are fully realized, so in the end, the significant arcs that pushed the repetitive melodies of the show forward with new meanings have nowhere to run. The huge developments and relationships that come forward in the second act just fall flat and feel very rushed.
Despite its Golden Globe nominations, The Dissolve agreed that it could have fared with a better adaptation.
“Unfortunately, Marshall’s contributions to Into The Woods not only fail to elevate the source material, they often actively detract from it. Luckily, the musical is sturdy enough to withstand such undercutting, but outside of some delightful performances from bona fide movie stars, there’s little in Marshall’s Into The Woods to justify the leap to the big screen.”
That said, Sondheim himself warned that Into the Woods was getting the Disney treatment months before the film hit theaters. Back then, he revealed plot changes, some that were apparent in the film, and others that remained intact, but specifically he pointed at Disney’s immediate objections to some of the source material.
“Infidelity, a wolf being lascivious, that the whole connection with Red Riding Hood is sexual.”
Later, Sondheim came forward with a response after his comments were made public about Disney’s attitude towards his classic.
“Despite what the New Yorker article may convey, the collaboration was genuinely collaborative and always productive. When the conversation with the teachers occurred, I had not yet seen a full rough cut of the movie. Coincidentally, I saw it immediately after leaving the meeting and, having now seen it a couple of times, I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie.”
[Image via Disney]