For families that are not into Paranormal Activity 2 or Saw 3D, the holiday season will start this Friday with DreamWorks Megamind which is expected to lead the box office across North America.
The movie from Steven Spielberg's stable will unfold in 3500 theaters and some 4500 screens in USA. It will also be showing in a handful of countries in Southeast Asia. The rest of the world will be seeing it in the third week of November and early December.
The film was released last week in Russia to lower the rampant piracy of Hollywood movies there. It grossed an impressive $7 million there the last weekend. Hollywood insiders believe that the new film could gross about an impressive $50 million in North America over the weekend and will have solid legs till more films geared to the young especially Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (November 19) and the 3-D spoof Tangled will unfold through December 26.
Early reviews for Megamind have been very good. 'The second big animated feature of the year, after Despicable Me, to center on an arch-villain who sees the error of his ways, Megamind is snappy good fun,' wrote The Hollywood Reporter. 'Fast-paced but not frantic, goofily good-natured and attractively designed for widescreen 3D, this splashy new effort from Tom McGrath, who made the Madagascar hits, happily avoids the crassness and relentless showbiz referencing that have marred some past DreamWorks Animation entries.'
DreamWorks Animation has had a solid run with Shrek Forever which, though not a huge hit in North America became a must-see film abroad and grossed about $735 million worldwide. DreamWorks said this week about 60 percent of its gross came from the 3D version.
The high octane cast of Megamind has Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell in the lead. It is being released by Paramount, perhaps the last of DreamWorks to be released by it, since the two companies have severed relations.
Director McGrath told The New York Times last week that his film (which reportedly cost $125 million, the standard for such films now) was partly inspired by the 19th century inventor Nicola Tesla's fight against the commercialisation of electricity. In the fight with Thomas Edison, Tesla was vilified by the former. "He had all these talents but was kind of an oddball and very obscure,' McGrath said. "There are small flavours of Tesla in Megamind's character
Sent away from his home as a baby before his planet is destroyed, the odd character who becomes Megamind (Ferrell), lands in prison. Another toddler sent from the same planet at the same time is raised by a privileged family and becomes the Metro Man (Pitt), a seemingly a magnanimous, caped superhero.
Megamind may initially look like, as the film's promo says, the most brilliant super villain the world has ever known... but the least successful.
But his persistence in fighting the Metro Man and his hope of taking over Metro City succeed. But the defeat of Metro Man does not give peace to his nemesis. How can he keep his life interesting if he doesn't have a super villain to fight for, wonders Megamind? And that dilemma leads to unexpected plot twists, especially new villains take over the city and create chaos. Can Megamind now become a good guy and fight the villains who are planning to destroy his beloved city?
The film also features Tina Fey as newscaster Roxanne (vibrant Tina Fey) as Metro Man's girl friend who is caught in the fight between the two men.
With an interesting twist on the concept of super heroes, and using strong high-tech, Megamind is expected not to lure millions of comic book fans but also those who love a adventure with interesting twists and a few moral lessons.