Thursday, April 18, 2024

Box Office: Warner’s Wonky “Wonka” Previews a Worrisome $3.5 Million on Thursday Night


The jury is out on “Wonka.”

Last night, the Timothee Chalamet starrer took in $3.5 million in previews. That’s a little wonky, but the holiday weeks may boost it up into something more than a cash grab remake.

What’s the story with “Wonka”? Chalamet is very charismatic in the Gene Wilder role, but why make this movie at all? We’ve already had Johnny Depp remake the original, and that wasn’t necessary either. For Chalamet, between “Dune” movies, at least he’s not eating people like he was last year in the dreadful “Bones and All.”

This prequel sags. I didn’t care much for the songs. The plot is similar to the other films. The outstanding part is the production. I also liked the first sequence, in which everyone flies around holding a chocolate egg. Call it Chocolate Quidditch.

“Wonka” opens the widest it can in over 4,000 theaters. It will play through New Year’s to decent crowds, I’m sure, mainly because it’s family friendly. “Wonka” and “The Boys in the Boat” are two of the films you can take your kids and your parents to without embarrassment.
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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