Monday Morning Update: Star Wars: The Force Returns rode much of the spoiler buzz surrounding its plot to the top spot on this past week with just over 60,000 new likes. Numerous stories have leaked online containing rumored plot details for the tightly guarded film, prompting J.J Abrams himself to come forward and say that many of the rumors were both false and true but that he appreciated the enthusiasm from its loyal fanbase. With one of the most fervent fanboys of any franchise Star Wars appears to be set to break all sorts of records on release which the only real question mark seeming to be whether it can topple Avengers: Age Of Ultron as the top grossing film of 2015.
Furious 7, Minions and Cinderella all had about average churn on the week giving them modest bumps upwards. Furious and Minions are already forgone top 10 hits for 2015 in my head but Cinderella has a few more questions surrounding it. The cast are hardly box office draws, who are better known for their TV performances, but then you include the fact that Cinderella is one of the most beloved fairy tales of all time and that the last big production dealing with princesses was kind of a big deal, Frozen. Course this isn’t animated, and it might have a tough time connecting with some younger children, but I believe there is still merit in the comparison. I’m still on the fence with whether it is $100 million material or $250 million material but the marketing push and social media response has been impressive and I think this could be one of the big breakout stories of the year. Looking specifically at Facebook it has seen a 1 million like increase since its first trailer in November of last year. That is a huge number, especially for a family friendly film. This is one to watch which may surprise people come opening weekend.
Chappie tacked on a few more likes, enough to get it into the top 5 for the first time. The film has largely flown under the radar of many but with its release looming and marketing kicking into high gear it is starting to turn more heads. Director Neil Blomkamp has proven himself to be a master of the whole mech-warrior / alien genre in District 9 and Elysium and Chappie looks like another solid entry into the sci-fi genre for the South African. Elysium had 364,618 likes by the day it was released which looks reachable for Chappie which should also enjoy a similar box office fortune if all goes well ($286 million worldwide gross).