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F
ee-fi… ok, we’ll skip that one. On a serious note, there was massive disappointment for Jack the Giant Slayer during its first weekend, with the $190m spectacular making just $28m. Is it too early to smell the blood of a turkey?

Watching the trailer, there were shades of the animated screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. Aside from the obvious giants theme, the film looked like good old-fashioned family fun, whilst still managing to chill the spine in places. Those who’ve watched the film in its entirety also gave it the thumbs up, so what’s gone wrong with Bryan Singer’s 3-D extravaganza?

The problem almost certainly lies with the current trend of sales and attendances coming down from last year, as the first weekend of March also saw three more box-office flops. 21 & Over, The Last Exorcism Part II and Phantom all bombed, with the latter taking a grand total of $460,000! Now who’s going to bed without any supper?

It is hoped that worldwide interest will save the day for Jack the Giant Slayer. The making of the movie was such a struggle at times that you can’t help but feel sorry for it. It was due for release last June, but was postponed to allow completion of the digital effects. Take into account the 100-day shoot that took place back in 2011 and we could be talking a full-blown tragedy.

Given that the UK and Russia promise much, as does Europe’s natural affinity with folk stories and fables, the signs of a recovery are there. But just in case Jack hadn’t been left with a big enough beanstalk to climb already, the release of another family flick could mean that some kind of magic spell is in order. Oz: The Great and Powerful is set to take 2013 by storm, with estimates of $75m-plus in returns.

Will Jack the Giant Slayer be able to pull off a fairy tale ending over the coming weeks and live happily ever after? There could be tears before bedtime if it doesn’t.

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