Based on the original film from 1960 directed by John Sturges and starring the likes of Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, and Yul Brynner, the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Southpaw) with starring turns from Denzel Washington (The Equalizer), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World), and Ethan Hawke (Boyhood). The original’s legacy as an Old West-style remake of acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece Seven Samurai – in addition to its inclusion in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress – has assured it a position of high visibility in the cultural consciousness – quite a lot to live up to.
As for Fuqua’s remake, The Magnificent Seven of 2016 received generally favorable early reviews, and has been the center of some attention regarding its diverse cast of characters. Westerns are a risky venture these days (just ask The Lone Ranger), but early box office reports have The Magnificent Seven heading into a respectable opening weekend.
According to THR, The Magnificent Seven collected a grand total of $1.75 million in ticket sales in 3,096 locations during its opening night on Thursday, and is expected to reach between $30-40 million over the course of the next three days. Given the fact that the only competition Fuqua’s latest faces will be the animated feature Storks – with an expected reach between $20-30 million – and the underperforming horror franchise sequel Blair Witch, it appears more likely than not that the Western remake will be the biggest draw for general audiences.
It’s exciting to hear that The Magnificent Seven remake is already drawing a crowd, as the pressure of reinventing one of the very best American Westerns of all time could have just as easily led to disinterest or anticipation. Supported by an impressive cast of talent, Fuqua may just have an early fall success story on his hands.
Based on how well The Magnificent Seven has done and is expected to continue doing going into the film’s opening weekend, Fuqua fans have a lot to celebrate. Furthermore, if his new Western remake continues to perform as well as it has already, maybe there’s hope that his forthcoming Scarface remake will also serve as another worthwhile endeavor at reestablishing a classic movie property on the big screen for an entirely new generation of moviegoers.
The Magnificent Seven is in theaters now.