Most biographical sports films focus on football or boxing in recent years, but Disney changes it up next weekend with The Queen of Katwe. The pic tells the true-life tale of Ugandan chess master Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga). Mira Nair directs with a cast including David Oyelowo and recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Katwe screened at the Toronto Film Festival to positive critical reaction (it’s at 88% currently on Rotten Tomatoes). At one time, this was looked at as a potential awards hopeful yet that has been tampered down a bit (Nyong’o could be a factor in Supporting Actress, but probably not). The film comes with a rather minor $15 million budget.
Disney’s best hope is for a decent opening followed by long legs if audiences love what they see. Opening on a relatively small 1252 screens, expectations aren’t too high and I’ll predict this manages to reach $5 million for its start.
Queen of Katwe opening weekend prediction: $5 million
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