There’s a battle between love and “Death” at this weekend’s domestic box office, as the Jennifer Lopez rom-com “Marry Me” and Kenneth Branagh’s follow-up to his 2017 whodunnit “Murder on the Orient Express” both attempt to draw older audiences back to movie theaters in their openings. “Death on the Nile” looks to bow at No. 1 with a muted $12.8 million, while “Marry Me” will follow with an expected $8 million intake.
Disney and 20th Century Studios’ “Death on the Nile,” based on the famous Agatha Christie novel, took in $5.1 million on Friday, an underwhelming though not exactly disastrous tally. That’s only half as much as the opening day gross of its predecessor “Murder on the Orient Express” ($10.7 million), which eventually legged it out to a $102 million domestic gross.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the adaptation follows the mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot (also Branagh) as he attempts to solve a murder on board a glamorous river cruise in Egypt. The film boasts a deep cast of stars that includes Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, Russell Brand and Letitia Wright. Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman had praise for the film, writing that it is “crisper and craftier than ‘Murder on the Orient Express’; it’s a moderately diverting dessert that carries you right along. It never transcends the feeling that you’re seeing a relic injected with life serum, but that, in a way, is part of its minor-league charm.”
“Marry Me,” on the other hand, stars Lopez as a pop star who decides to get married to a total stranger (Wilson) during one of her concerts. Together, the two must face Lopez’s toxic ex (Maluma) and see if their shotgun wedding can turn into true love. In his review of “Marry Me,” Gleiberman complimented the film’s self-awareness of its preposterous plot, writing: “The bar for rom-coms is not high, and this one, ludicrous as it often is, inches over the bar. But I would no more call it a good movie than I’d pretend fast food is high in nutrients.”
More to come…
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