The Timothee Chalamet-led “Wonka” is reportedly on track for a $35 million domestic opening weekend as the film opens in more than 4,150 locations including IMAX and other premium formats.
That would make it the young actor’s second biggest box-office opening to date, behind only “Dune” in 2021 which debuted to $41 million during the pandemic.
The movie, directed by “Paddington” helmer Paul King, already opened in three dozen overseas markets last week to great response with a haul of $43.2 million. That global footprint will expand this weekend along with the U.S. debut.
The film boasts a production budget of $125 million and is aiming to lure family audiences over the holiday period, thus a strong opening is good but how it fares in subsequent weekends will really tell the tale. The hope is more “The Greatest Showman” and less “Cats”.
Chalamet stars as a young Willy Wonka around 25 years earlier than the novel and well before he became the famed chocolate factory owner.
In the film, Willy opens a chocolate shop using the knowledge of sweets he has amassed from his travels. He soon finds himself facing the dangerous Chocolate Cartel – Mr. Prodnose, Mr. Fickelgruber, and Mr. Slugworth.
Reviews for the film are quite positive with 83% (7.4/10) on Rotten Tomatoes.