The Grand Picture
Prepare yourselves for a thrilling ride as Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot series returns with its third installment, ‘A Haunting in Venice.’ This cinematic venture marks a significant departure in style and critical reception from its predecessors. Buckle up because the film is poised for a gentle start at the box office, with earnings estimated in the range of $13 million to $15 million. Surprisingly, reviews for this movie are more favorable than for the previous entries in the series, boasting a solid 77% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Arguably, Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot series is one of the most unexpected contemporary franchises to emerge from a major studio. Now, with ‘A Haunting in Venice,’ it seems the series is taking a daring step away from its usual conventions, both in terms of style and reception. The film had its preview showings on Thursday, raking in a commendable $1.2 million at the domestic box office. Today, it’s set to cast its eerie spell in over 3,500 theaters across the country.
However, don’t expect fireworks in its opening weekend; it’s more of a soft start, hovering between $13 million and $15 million. The franchise previously experienced a dip in fortunes with its second installment, ‘Death on the Nile,’ which premiered during the uncertain days of the pandemic, grossing a strikingly similar $12.8 million during its opening weekend. Despite its hefty budget of $90 million, ‘Death on the Nile’ struggled to reach $45 million domestically and just under $140 million worldwide. This time around, 20th Century Studios tightened their purse strings, producing ‘A Haunting in Venice’ with a reported budget of $60 million.
The series embarked on its journey in 2017 with the star-studded ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ which opened with $28 million but picked up steam, eventually crossing the $100 million mark domestically and soaring to a staggering $350 million globally. Each film in the trilogy has been masterfully directed by Branagh, who also takes on the iconic role of Belgian detective Poirot, created by the legendary Agatha Christie. However, while the first two movies were adaptations of two of Christie’s most celebrated Poirot novels, Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green decided to take a different route with the third installment.
Not only does ‘A Haunting in Venice’ delve more into the realm of supernatural thrills compared to the classic murder mysteries of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and ‘Death on the Nile,’ but it also reigns in its scope. The film draws its inspiration from a lesser-known and previously unexplored source novel, “Hallowe’en Party.” It transports the action from the familiar English backdrop to the charming streets of Italy, situating the story a decade after the events of ‘Death on the Nile.’ In this installment, a retired Poirot is thrust back into action when a guest at a séance he attended meets a mysterious demise.
Will Glowing Reviews Rescue the Film?
Critics have been more generous with ‘A Haunting in Venice’ than usual for this series. It currently boasts a “fresh” 77% score on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, a notable improvement over the 61% approval ratings of both ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and ‘Death on the Nile.’ Emma Kiely of FilmSweep noted that the film “fails to get to the root of the horror that pervades this mystery, and a bizarre moment during the climax only adds to the confusion.”
‘A Haunting in Venice’ also boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Jamie Dornan, Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, and more. As we bid adieu to last weekend’s number one film, ‘The Nun II,’ it’s poised to make way for the enigmatic allure of ‘A Haunting in Venice.’ Meanwhile, ‘The Equalizer 3,’ ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,’ and ‘Barbie’ are expected to complete the top five slots. Stay tuned to FilmSweep for the latest updates on this thrilling cinematic voyage!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Haunting in Venice
What is “A Haunting in Venice” about?
“A Haunting in Venice” is the third installment of Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot series. In this supernatural thriller, Poirot is summoned to action in Venice after a guest at a séance he attended ends up dead.
How does this movie differ from the previous ones in the series?
This movie marks a departure from the traditional murder mystery style of the previous films. It delves into the realm of supernatural thrills and is based on a lesser-known Agatha Christie novel, “Hallowe’en Party.” It also shifts the setting from England to Italy, taking place a decade after the events of “Death on the Nile.”
What are the expected box office earnings for “A Haunting in Venice”?
The movie is expected to have a soft opening weekend, with projected earnings in the range of $13 million to $15 million. This is in line with the franchise’s previous installment, “Death on the Nile.”
How have the reviews been for “A Haunting in Venice”?
Reviews for this film have been more positive than for the earlier entries in the series. It currently holds a 77% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a notable improvement over the 61% ratings of “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Death on the Nile.”
Who are some of the notable actors in “A Haunting in Venice”?
The film features an impressive ensemble cast, including Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Jamie Dornan, Kyle Allen, and Camille Cottin.
Is Kenneth Branagh still directing and starring in this installment?
Yes, Kenneth Branagh continues to both direct and star as Hercule Poirot in “A Haunting in Venice,” maintaining his role as the Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie.