MGM may need more than three wishes for Three Thousand Years of Longing to become a box office success when it opens August 26th. Based on a 1994 short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt, the reported $60 million production is the latest fantasy from acclaimed filmmaker George Miller. Idris Elba stars as a genie hoping to gain his freedom through an academic played by Tilda Swinton.
Miller hasn’t been behind the camera since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which landed 10 Oscar nominations and six wins (all tech categories). He’ll be back helming the franchise again with 2024’s Furiosa. This in-between effort premiered at Cannes back in May to mixed reaction. While its visuals were praised, several critics weren’t overly keen on the story. The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 62%.
Elba is a busy man in the last half of August with Beast debuting the week prior. That survival tale might make more in its second frame than Longing accomplishes in its first.
When the theater count is released, my estimate could fluctuate. Initial projections have this potentially reaching $10 million. I’m not buying it. The awareness factor for it seems low and it generated little buzz with the French festival premiere. This has the feel of a significant flop and the late August placement hardly dispels that possibility. I’m projecting that it might not reach $5 million as Miller’s most ardent supporters could be the only moviegoers turning up.
Three Thousand Years of Longing opening weekend prediction: $4 million
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