It’s an all-out battle of the genres this weekend at the box office, with action and romance taking on an adaptation of an indie comic-book darling and a limited release for a Studio Ghibli feature.
First, Disney is releasing in an English dub Tales from the Earthsea in a very limited five-theater run. The film is directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, and it based on the book by science-fiction icon Ursula K. LeGuin. Released in Japan in 2006, the English-language version features the voices of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin and Mariska Hargitay.
For wider releases, the hard question to answer is how moviegoers will take to Universal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s beloved Oni Press series of graphic novels, the quirky and modern love tale has divided critics and preview audiences into a generational love-it-or-hate-it scenario. Directed by Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is opening in an estimated 2,818 cinemas.
The muscle this weekend belongs to The Expendables, an action film from Lionsgate written by, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone. The film also features such action-film icons as Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and appearances by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is set to open at more than 3,200 theaters.
Lastly, there is Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love which is based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert and directed by Glee and Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy. Released by Sony/Columbia, Eat Pray Love is set to open at about 3,082 cinemas.