THE Legend of Tarzan exceeded expectations this past weekend in the United States, as the “critics” were left dumb-faced when the film secured a $46,58 million debut over the country’s Independence Day celebrations.
According to Box Office Mojo, The Legend of Tarzan debuted globally to about $55 million in the latest movie that ultimately proves that it is the movie-going public who determine a box office success.
From the onset, I knew the movie was going to be huge. For starters, even though the actor playing the titular character is not yet a bona fide box office star, Hollywood actor Alexander Skarsgard who played the mostly shirtless Tarzan, has got a huge female following.
When making an epic, the trick is making it in a way that attracts the female audience to a typically male centric genre of film. For The Legend of Tarzan, Skarsgard was only going to do just that. His performance as the man of the jungle was nothing short of the best incarnation of the character.
Tarzan is a beloved character that first appeared in a book in 1914 about a baby boy who is stranded on an island and is saved by apes who later raise him and turn out to be more animal than man. For me, with all the interpretations, this plays as the best as it does not focus on his origin but shows where he truly belongs, in the jungle.
In the film, Tarzan is forced to return to the jungle having previously been whisked away since finding his lady love Jane Clayton played by up and coming actress Margot Robbie, whose performance as a tough as nails Jane was just as impressive.
The movie really delves into the famous saying “you can take a man out of the jungle, but you cannot take the jungle out of the man” as Tarzan’s return to the jungle was like unleashing a wild animal from a cage. What helped with Skarsgard acting the role of a man slowly releasing his true nature was the direction by David Yates, who directed four Harry Potter films, whose main strength is the characterisations of characters.
Even though The Legend of Tarzan performed beyond expectations, with its outstanding visuals and action, it only came in second and was not enough to knock off the reigning champ, Finding Dory, which scored an impressive $51,43 million over the same weekend, taking its top spot tally to three weekends since its debut.
Ster Kinekor Eastgate is currently showing the epic film.
Finding Dory now stands at $396,37 million in the United States on its way to being the top grosser in that country for 2016 and has a global haul of $570,17 million.
But, the man of the apes was not the only show in town this past weekend as the weekend also saw the release of sleeper hit thriller The Purge: Election Year, the third movie in a successful series which grossed $36,13 million over the past weekend. The thriller’s earnings made the film claim third spot on the box office.
Conveniently, the film centres on a revolving story about a public holiday called “The Purge” that is dedicated to quenching people’s bloodlust by allowing them to commit any crime they want in a 12-hour period.
In the third outing of the franchise, the film takes place during an election year where a senator and presidential candidate Charlie Roan played by Elizabeth Mitchell is quickly becoming the top contender, with a promise to end the deadly day. This does not bode well for the citizens, however, as those who support the day do not want it done away with.
What has always worked in favour of this franchise is showing the depths of human depravity, where what you think people think about you, be it love or anything else positive, is quickly thrown out on the day of The Purge.
Making the movie’s theme all about elections also probably helped as 2016 is election year in the United States where a new president will be chosen in November.
This weekend will see the release of another animated film expected to finally dethrone Finding Dory from the box office top spot. The new animation, Secret Life of Pets, promises to be even more of a hit with the intriguing premise “what do your animals do when you are not around?”
My guess is Finding Dory will come second, The Legend of Tarzan will get third and The Purge: Election Year will round off on the fourth spot.
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