Look out, Avengers: Endgame! Aladdin, his Genie and their magic carpet are coming for you (well, sort of). Despite a lukewarm reception from critics, the public’s low expectations for Disney’s live-action remakes and the backlash surrounding Will Smith’s Genie, Aladdin is projected to make an estimated $113 million at the North American box office over the Memorial Day long weekend. That would catapult the Disney film past last week’s dark horse box office leader, John Wick 3.
Disney’s #Aladdin is the #1 Movie in the World.
— Disney’s Aladdin (@disneyaladdin) May 26, 2019
Not only that; Disney is expecting its latest feature to make an additional $121 million overseas. FINE, it’s not Endgame numbers (which is still in contention to beat Avatar for the biggest box office haul of all time), but it’s way more than critics expected going into the weekend. A big-budget Disney film hardly counts as an underdog, but there were some serious questions about how well Aladdin would fair after critics deemed it just “meh.”
To give you an indication of how the pros were feeling: the new live-action film has only a 58 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes despite the original animated film sitting at a snazzy 92 per cent fresh rating. Audiences also seem to be a little wary of live-action re-imaginings of classic Disney cartoons with Dumbo under-performing at the box office in March. Plus the film was working against all the cringey press from when they dropped that sneak peek of Will Smith’s blue CG-rendered Genie back in February.
Well, now that they’ve seen blue Will Smith in context, the people have spoken. Not only have they been voting with their dollars, the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score is at 94 per cent.
#Aladdin My audience burst into applause like FIVE times during the movie – it deserves to make a BILLION dollars worldwide – review tomorrow 9am EST! #Disney #WillSmith @MenaMassoud @NaomiScott pic.twitter.com/QMSWcnM0Rl
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) May 22, 2019
Leaving #Aladdin and:
• Will Smith makes a FANTASTIC Genie.
• Naomi Scott is our new supreme.
• Mena Massoud’s million dollar smile can power all of Agrabah.
— Julius (@jbridge4th) May 24, 2019
Thoroughly enjoyed #Aladdin… Felt, at many places, I was watching a well-made Bollywood musical… Will Smith as Genie is the showstopper… Fast-paced with loads of humour and entertainment, #Aladdin is a joyride that’s unmissable!
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) May 24, 2019
Congrats to the whole cast, but especially to our Canadian Aladdin, the enviably-coiffed Mena Massoud!