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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Directed by Zach Helm
Produced by Joseph Drake
Written by Zach Helm
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Natalie Portman
Jason Bateman
Zach Mills
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Aaron Zigman
Cinematography Roman Osin
Editing by Sabrina Pilsco
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Walden Media
Release date(s) November 16, 2007
Running time 94 min.[1]
Country Flag of the United States
Language English
Official website
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a 2007 film written and directed by Zach Helm. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman and Zach Mills. The screenplay is the first that Zach Helm wrote when hired as a contract writer at 20th Century Fox, but it remained unfilmed until Helm was able to buy the script back after Stranger than Fiction was made.[2]

PlotEdit

At the start of the movie and from time to time during the movie the 9-year-old boy Eric (Zach Mills) is shown with a book telling the story.

Eccentric 243-year-old Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) owns and manages a magical toyshop. The shop has many quirks, including sentient toys and a doorknob that, when rotated, changes the interior of a magic room. Magorium's store manager is the young woman Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), who is an aspiring pianist and has plans to quit the store and start a career in music. Mahoney is, apparently, Eric's only friend, as shown by their first on-screen conversation.

Unexpectedly, Mr. Magorium announces that although he is not ill, it is time for him to "leave", and as a surprise, he gives the shop to Mahoney. She does not understand, but Eric explains to her that he seems to mean that he is going to heaven. She urges Magorium to stay and struggles with self-doubt.

As a preparation for his "departure", Magorium hires accountant Henry Weston (Jason Bateman), after an interview where he demonstrates knowledge of Fibonacci numbers. He calls him the "mutant". His task is to sort out the neglected paper work of the shop. Weston is not popular with children and, when Eric first tries to become friends with him, says that he "never stops working". Mahoney does not like Weston's lack of humour or his disbelief in the shop's magic. As a result of the stressful events, the store itself has a tantrum, turning grey and forcing the customers to leave.

Eric, who often plays and works in the store and is urged to find friends by his mother, eventually befriends Weston and shows him the enormous hat collection in his room, to the discomfort of his mother. Meanwhile, worried by Magorium's plan to "leave", Mahoney rushes him to the hospital, where doctors confirm that he requires observation when Magorium explains his age and position. He is quickly released, as nothing is physically wrong with him. Mahoney attempts to prevent his departure by showing him life's joys, but Magorium does not change his mind about "leaving". After a heartfelt talk, Mahoney leaves in tears and Magorium throws his last paper airplane, peacefully dying as the airplane flies around the room. Many children and adults alike crowd the cemetery to witness his funeral.

Mahoney, believing herself to be unworthy of the store, offers it for sale. Eric regrets this very much and approaches Weston with a "business proposal": he is willing to invest his savings and pocket-money in the shop. Though he refuses, Weston sees that Mahoney is making a mistake, and tries to persuade her against selling the store. While doing so, he witnesses for himself the store's magic and is at last convinced of it. The shop itself, distressed by Magorium's death and the upcoming sale, is delighted and colourfully revived as Mahoney finally takes her position as manager and unlocks her creative potential.

CastEdit

Actor/Actress Character
Dustin Hoffman Mr. Edward Magorium, the 243-year-old owner of the store
Natalie Portman Molly Mahoney, Store Manager and Owner
Jason Bateman Henry Weston, the Accountant
Zach Mills Eric, the Hat Collector
Ted Ludzik Bellini, the Bookbuilder

ProductionEdit

Filming started in late March 2006 and continued to June 6, 2006 in Toronto, Canada.

The movie, produced by Walden Media and Mandate Pictures, was released in theaters in the United States on November 16, 2007. The film is released by 20th Century Fox and Walden Media through their Fox-Walden banner.

On September 5, 2007, ComingSoon! announced that this film is rated G by the MPAA. It is 20th Century Fox's third theatrically-released film to be rated G by the MPAA, following 2006's Everyone's Hero and Anastasia.

This marked the first major theatrical appearance of Kermit the Frog since 1999's "Muppets from Space."

Leicester Square PremiereEdit

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 charity and other UK based charities.

NovelizationEdit

Critical receptionEdit

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. As of December 16, 2007 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 35% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 109 reviews, with the consensus among critics that "colorful visuals and talented players can't make up for a bland story."[3] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 48 out of 100, based on 25 reviews.[4] Peter Travers (of Rolling Stone) declared the film the year's Worst Family Film on his list of the Worst Movies of 2007.[5]

Box office performanceEdit

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.[6] As of December 20, 2007, it had grossed $30,443,749 in the USA and a further $8,546,659 in the rest of the world give total of box office return of $38,990,408.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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