There was a time in Hollywood history when westerns were all the rage; it was the most popular film genre from the early 20th century up to the 1960s.
In this day and age, on the other hand, audiences seem to prefer comic book-based superhero films or fantasy franchises. It seems, however, that westerns may be set for a comeback.
The Magnificent Seven just scored an outstanding $35 million for its opening weekend. It is one of the biggest openings for a live western in history -- not accounting for inflation of course.
The film is following in the footsteps of the animated western Rango which had the biggest opening numbers for a western, at $38 million. The genre has suffered a few box office flops like 2013's The Lone Ranger and the science fiction-infused Cowboys and Aliens -- even if it had a strong opening at $36 million, it just couldn't make enough to counter the movie's budget. The idea that westerns flopped was offset, though, by the Oscar-winning Django Unchained and 2010's True Grit, which were much more successful in the box office and with critics.
The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which starred Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner and Charles Bronson. That, in turn, was a remake of a non-western Samurai film by Asia's Emperor of Cinema, Akira Kurosawa, called Seven Samurai.
Just like the original, The Magnificent Seven tells the story of seven men who gather together to help a village under attack by a group of savage thieves.
The movie stars Denzel Washington; man of the moment Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke also co-star. The western is directed by Southpaw's Antoine Fuqua.