Cinderella Smashes US Box Office, Grabs Princely $70M Opening

Disney’s live-action re-imagining of its 1950 classic Cinderella has done well in the film’s opening weekend, with US box office takings of an estimated $70.1 million.

The Kenneth Branagh-directed movie – starring Downton Abbey‘s Lily James in the title role, with Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother, and Helena Bonham Carter as Cinderella’s fairy godmother – has followed in the footsteps of Disney’s other live-action successes, Tim Burton’s 2010 update of the 1951 Alice In Wonderland and Robert Stromberg’s 2014 Maleficent (a twist on the 1959 Sleeping Beauty).

Cinderella‘s premiere not only profited in the US, but globally, too. As the Daily Mail reports, in China alone, the film took $25 million, while remaining international takings totaled an estimated $62.4 million. Cinderella has been the highest opening for any of Branagh’s movies.

As the Inquisitr reported, besides the innocent beauty of 25-year old James’ Cinderella (or Ella), Cate Blanchett thoroughly relished the evilness of her character. Meanwhile, the film’s 66 percent female audience clearly enjoyed blue-eyed Richard Madden in the role of Prince Charming (or Kit). Perhaps it was the inclusion of the short, Frozen Fever, also. The animation is only available to watch as an opening act to Cinderella and Disney only just announced its intention to make a sequel to the phenomenally successful feature film, Frozen. Clearly, many women are still lured by the princess complex of their childhoods, especially now that those heroines are really being depicted as just that.

However, Disney’s Distribution Chief, Dave Hollis, told The Hollywood Reporter that the risk with Cinderella was its lack of an update for the Twenty-First century.

“The challenge in marketing the movie was that there was no twist, unlike Maleficent or Oz. We were rolling out the quintessential version of the classic story. The danger was that people could say, ‘I already know what the story is,’ but the marketing team brought to the market creative materials that did an incredible job of creating a sense of urgency.”

Certainly, Cinderella‘s trailer leaves the viewer wanting more, what with all the words of wisdom the title character’s late mother (played by Hayley Atwell) gives in various, golden-haired flashbacks. Included is, “Where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness there is magic.” Undoubtedly, Disney’s magic is thriving, come from the ‘good’ idea of live-action re-imaginings of classic animation. Next on the agenda after Cinderella are apparently a sequel to Alice In Wonderland, as well as Beauty And The Beast, The Jungle Book, and even Dumbo.

It seems the magic of fairytales really can live forever.

[Image courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

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