Box Office Preview: New ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Movie Takes on ‘John Wick 4’
This weekend’s box office race sees Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves taking on John Wick: Chapter 4 in what’s bound to be an interesting contest.
Directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Dungeons & Dragons is based on Hasbro’s influential role-playing game and features a star-packed cast led by Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head and Hugh Grant.
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Tracking suggests the movie will open to a somewhat subdued $30 million domestically, but many box office analysts believe that number will come in higher thanks to strong early audience reaction and stellar reviews commending the movie’s smart sense of adventure and jovial spirit.
Paramount and eOne, which is owned by Hasbro, co-produced and co-financed the big-budget fantasy pic, which cost a reported $150 million to make before marketing. The film also launches in more than 50 markets overseas, including the U.K., where eOne is distributing.
Dungeons & Dragons is based on the seminal tabletop game first published in 1974. The game went on to inspire books, TV shows, video games and movies — including New Line’s ill-fated 2000 pic — among other media. If all goes well, Honor Among Thieves will launch a new movie franchise for Paramount and eOne. And either way, it expands the overall D&D universe for Hasbro.
Adapting games (be it video games or tabletop games) for the big screen has always been tricky, but there have been notable success stories of late in the video game space, including Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and Sony’s Uncharted, which debuted last year to $44 million.
Dungeons & Dragons, which made its world premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Austin earlier this month, hopes to win the weekend box office race. But that means bumping off Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4, which debuted to a rousing $73.8 million last weekend and could earn $30 million or more in its sophomore outing. (Dungeons & Dragons has the advantage of replacing John Wick in premium format auditoriums.)
Goldstein and Daley directed Dungeons & Dragons from a script they wrote with Michael Gilio.
“The duo behind Game Night have created an adaptation that will appeal to the nostalgic side of existing fans and entertain those whose eyes glaze over at the mention of Dungeon Masters, bards or druids,” writes The Hollywood Reporter’s Lovia Gyarkye in her review. “This version of Dungeons & Dragons not only checks the boxes of a satisfying studio blockbuster; it arrives at a cultural moment that embraces — even fiends for — the epic fantasy adventure.”
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