Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a 2007 children's fantasy comedy film written and directed by Zach Helm, produced by FilmColony, Mandate Pictures, Walden Media, Richard N. Gladstein and James Garavente, and with music composed by Alexandre Desplat and Aaron Zigman.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Mr. Magorium.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZach Helm
Produced byRichard N. Gladstein
James Garavente
Written byZach Helm
StarringDustin Hoffman
Natalie Portman
Jason Bateman
Narrated byZach Mills
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Aaron Zigman
CinematographyRoman Osin
Edited bySabrina Plisco
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 16, 2007 (2007-11-16)
Running time
94 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Canada
LanguageEnglish
Budget$65 million[1]
Box office$69.5 million[2]

The film stars Dustin Hoffman as the owner of a magical toy store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Natalie Portman as his store employee. A cameo by Kermit the Frog was the character's first major theatrical appearance since 1999's Muppets from Space.

Theatrically released on November 16, 2007 by 20th Century Fox, it received mixed reviews and grossed $69.5 million worldwide. Helm subsequently disowned the film in later years. For his performance in the film, Zach Mills was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 4, 2008 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

PlotEdit

Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), an amateur pianist, is an employee at "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium", a magical toy shop run by 243-year-old Mr. Edward Magorium (Dustin Hoffman). Besides Molly and Mr. Magorium, store bookbuilder Bellini (Ted Ludzik), a strongman, is also employed. Eric Applebaum (Zach Mills) is a boy who comes to the store daily and functions as an employee despite his age.

Mr. Magorium gives Molly the Congreve Cube, a block of wood, and tells her it will guide her to a new life if she has faith in it. Molly wants to become a concert pianist and composer but has not been able to complete her first concerto.

Mr. Magorium announces that he intends to "leave" and is giving the shop to Molly. In preparation for his departure, Mr. Magorium hires an accountant, Henry Weston (Jason Bateman), to organize the shop's paperwork and determine his legacy to Molly. Henry does not believe that the toy store is magical.

When Molly becomes upset about her inability to properly run the store, the Emporium 'throws a tantrum', assaulting everyone inside with the toys until Mr. Magorium calms it down. Molly realizes that Mr. Magorium is going to die, so she rushes him to a hospital until he is discharged the next day. She then attempts to prevent Mr. Magorium's departure by showing him the joys of life. Back at the store, Mr. Magorium uses the stage notes of Shakespeare's King Lear to make a point about the natural simplicity of death before dying himself. Believing herself to be incapable of owning a magical store, Molly puts the Emporium up for sale, and the store loses all its magic.

Henry meets Molly to draw up the sale papers, where he sees the Congreve Cube and asks her about it. When Molly confesses her complete faith in the store, the block flies around the store. After witnessing this, Henry faints with shock. When he awakes and questions Molly, she tells him that it was a dream. He then learns Molly made the cube fly and he believes in her, realizing Molly can be anything if she believes in herself. The store returns to its former glory as Molly's confidence increases.

CastEdit

  • Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Edward Magorium, the toy store's eccentric 243-year-old owner
  • Natalie Portman as Molly Mahoney, the store manager, and former child piano prodigy, who feels "stuck" in life
  • Jason Bateman as Henry Weston (aka "Mutant"), the straight-laced, rigid accountant hired to get Mr. Magorium's paperwork in order
  • Zach Mills as Eric Applebaum, a lonely 9-year-old who comes to the store regularly and has trouble making friends
  • Ted Ludzik as Bellini, the bookbinder who was born in the shop's basement and writes Mr. Magorium's biography
  • Kiele Sanchez as Mrs. Goodman, a customer
  • Jonathan Potts as a hospital doctor
  • Steve Whitmire as Kermit the Frog (voice) in a cameo appearance

ProductionEdit

Photography was from March 31, 2006 to June 6, 2006 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The film was produced by FilmColony's Richard N. Gladstein and Gang of Two's James Garavente, and financed by Walden Media, and Mandate Pictures's Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane.

NovelizationEdit

Written by Suzanne Weyn, the novelization was published in 2007, by Scholastic Inc.[3][4]

ReleaseEdit

The premiere of Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium, attended by Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman, also doubled as a fundraising event with tickets having been made available to the public. Funds raised at the event were donated to the Barnardo's children's charity and other charities based in the United Kingdom.

Box officeEdit

The film was released in the United States and Canada on November 16, 2007 and grossed $9.6 million in 3,164 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #5 at the box office.[5] It went on to gross $32.1 million in the U.S. and a further $35.4 million in the rest of the world which gives the film a box office total of $67.5 million.[2]

Critical responseEdit

 
Jason Bateman was praised by critics for his performance.

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 38% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 124 reviews, with an average rating of 5.03/10. The consensus reads, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium's title is much more fun than the film itself, as colorful visuals and talented players can't make up for a bland story."[6] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 48 out of 100, based on 26 reviews.[7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[8] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone declared the film the year's Worst Family Film on his list of the Worst Movies of 2007.[9]

However, in recognition of the fact that it was "aimed directly at very young children", William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer observed its "unforced and exceedingly gentle humor, its imaginative but never-quite-excessive production design and its ingratiating and surprisingly detailed performances – especially by Portman and Bateman – gradually break down one's cynical defenses".[10]

Despite the negative reception, the film has won two awards: the Heartland Film Festival Truly Moving Pictures award; and the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval, whose presenters felt it was "a delightful family film". Shawn Edwards of Fox called it "the most magical film of the year".

Writer-director Zach Helm later attempted to disown the film, calling it "a trainwreck", after the film was referenced in an episode of the AMC drama Breaking Bad.[11]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on March 4, 2008 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

AwardsEdit

List of awards and nominations
Award Category Nominee Result
Golden Trailer, IFMCA Award and Young Artist Award Best Animation/Family, Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction Film and Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Alexandre Desplat, Aaron Zigman and Zach Mills Nominated

SoundtrackEdit

In popular cultureEdit

In the penultimate episode of the hit AMC show Breaking Bad (S5 E15, Granite State), Walter White remarks on the two DVD copies of Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium in his off-grid New Hampshire residence.

In S01E07 of the HBO Max show Close Enough, a flashback scene of Josh and Emily's first date shows Josh explaining to Emily why he feels best picture might go to Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mancini, Vince. "Mr. Magorium director on Breaking Bad: "No one has two copies of Mr. Magorium."". Uproxx. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Weyn, Suzanne (2007). Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium : magical movie novel. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 978-0-439-91250-1.
  4. ^ "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium". Goodreads. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  6. ^ "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  7. ^ "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  8. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  9. ^ Travers, Peter (December 19, 2007). "Peter Travers' Best and Worst Movies of 2007". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  10. ^ Arnold, William (November 15, 2007). "Gentle whimsy of Emporium will appeal to children – and win over their parents". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. SeattlePI.com. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  11. ^ "'Mr. Magorium' Director to 'Breaking Bad' -- I Hate My Movie, Too". TMZ.

External linksEdit