Powered in equal parts by stars Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon along with Walt Disney’s mighty publicity machine, director Ana Duvernay’s Wrinkle In Time debuted to an anemic $33 million over the weekend.
This lackluster opening puts Wrinkle in the same league as other Disney stinkers such as George Clooney’s Tomorrowland, Meryl Streep’s Into the Woods, John Carter, and Prince of Persia. Only Into the Woods would go on to break $100 million domestic ($128 million). With a price tag that reportedly comes in at $250 million (including promotion cost), even with overseas money, Wrinkle will almost certainly lose money.
Early estimates for Wrinkle were in the $41 to $35 million range. Terrible reviews, a trailer that looked more bloated than substantial, and bad word of mouth all conspired to bring the wannabe-blockbuster below even that. Saddled with a “B” Cinemascore, the future is not looking rosy.
Other than looking as sparkly and empty as Alice Through the Looking Glass, Disney’s 2016 catastrophe, the marketing for Wrinkle focused on everything but a compelling story — namely the racial diversity of the cast, which only informs potential moviegoers that they are in for a lecture as opposed to a good time.
Wrinkle focusing on and celebrating its own racial diversity also comes off as a bit bizarre in a 2018 America that has been sitting through racially diverse films for decades now.
Wrinkle also has another big problem, but one that an institution as secular and as left-wing as Hollywood will never acknowledge. According to numerous reviewers, Wrinkle, which is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 children’s book, was stripped of its Christian themes in favor of hollow, New Age psychobabble.
Pajama’s Media’s Tyler O’Neil wrote at length how these changes removed the depth from the movie:
Without the Bible grounding of the deep themes in “A Wrinkle in Time,” the fantasy novel becomes a coming-of-age tale about embracing yourself, rather than trusting a power greater than yourself. When Disney excises God from the equation, the spiritual elements give way to a worship of self.
The movie focuses on “the universe,” a word which seems at first to replace the wonder and worship directed to God in the original book. “What if the universe is all inside each of us?” asks Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). She later tells Meg, “I am a part of the universe, just like you, Meg.”
When Meg struggles with the quasi-magical way main characters travel through space — called “tessering” — one of the Mrs tells her she won’t tesser well “until you become one with the universe and yourself.”
This New Age language about being “part of the universe,” having the universe “inside each of us,” and becoming “one with the universe and yourself” proves a flimsy replacement for L’Engle’s bold references to God and moving quotes from the Bible.
While most establishment reviewers ignored this change, thanks to alternative media, including a link over the weekend at the Drudge Report, this news was able to spread before a lot of parents wasted their money.
Meanwhile, the unambiguously pro-Trump Black Panther again took the top spot. In its fourth weekend, the Marvel marvel grossed an astonishing $41 million, which brings its domestic gross to $562 million. Worldwide, Black Panther has already crossed $1 billion (with a “b”) and is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing Marvel movie of all time, beating even Joss Whedon’s two Avengers titles.
Looks as though Trump beat Oprah in round one of an anticipated 2020 presidential face off.