Director Kenneth Branagh’s latest Disney film, A Haunting in Venice, has had a strong start at the North American box office, raking in $12 million in previews.
This puts it ahead of the previous film in the Agatha Christie-inspired series and other adult-oriented movies like Ticket to Paradise. Both of those films started with $11 million in previews and went on to have opening weekends of $13 million and $165 million, respectively.
A Haunting in Venice, released by 20th Century Studios and Disney, is projected to have a domestic launch of $13 million to $15 million. While this is not significantly higher than the previous film, Death on the Nile, which had a $12.8 million opening in February 2022 during the post-COVID box office recovery, it’s still a solid start.
The sequel had faced delays due to the pandemic and also dealt with negative publicity surrounding one of its stars, Armie Hammer (who does not appear in the new film). The ensemble cast for Death on the Nile included Gal Gadot and Letitia Wright. It went on to gross $137.3 million globally.
In 2017, Branagh had a sleeper hit with Murder on the Orient Express, which opened to $28.6 million domestically and earned over $350 million worldwide. He not only directs A Haunting in Venice but also reprises his role as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot.
The film features a talented ensemble cast, including Camille Cottin, Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Kyle Allen, and Riccardo Scamarcio. Similar to other recent films, “A Haunting in Venice” had to rely on reviews and other promotional efforts rather than the help of its cast due to the ongoing actors’ strike.
The filmmakers are hopeful that the positive reviews, currently at a critics’ score of 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, will benefit the movie. In comparison, Death on the Nile received 61 percent, and Murder on the Orient Express scored 62 percent on the same platform.
A Haunting in Venice follows Poirot, now retired and living in Venice, as he investigates the murder of a young woman he met at a séance.
The movie is playing in theatres now.