Mother Nature, not the cast, draws the biggest crowd

Never underestimate the allure of Mother Nature.

A recent poll conducted by David Herrin’s The Quorum found that tornadoes—not the film’s talent—are the main reason moviegoers want to see Universal’s upcoming summer hit Whirlwindswhich is expected to become a Category 5 storm or higher when it makes landfall in the U.S. on July 19.

Of the 703 people surveyed, 570 indicated that they were interested in seeing it in some way WhirlwindsThey were then presented with a list of options and allowed to choose as many as they wanted.

Nearly 60 percent cited tornado action as the main reason for wanting to see the film. Special effects were next (52 percent), followed by 50 percent who were fans of the original Vortex film and 22 percent live in areas where tornadoes are common.

Among talent, 19 percent cited Powell as the driving factor, followed by Daisy Edgar-Jones at 17 percent. Rival studios say these are strong numbers for talent.

“While Glen Powell and Daisy Edgar-Jones are undoubtedly promising actors, it is sometimes difficult for talent to compete with effects, spectacle and Mother Nature,” says Herrin.

The survey was conducted in the US on June 27. The male/female split was 52 percent and 48 percent, respectively. The survey did not ask about Anthony Ramos, who also stars in the film, who is described as a three-hander consisting of him, Powell and Edgar-Jones.

The summer tentpole is expected to gross more than $55 million in North America over the July 19-21 weekend, according to The National Research Group. Universal, which handles the film domestically, is more conservative, suggesting $40 million to $45 million, while Quorum is more optimistic, predicting $54 million to $61 million. Warner Bros. International has overseas duties.

Whirlwinds opens 28 years after the film by filmmaker Jan de Bont Vortexstarring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, caused a storm at the box office. Universal and Chung have been clear that the new film is not a sequel, but a “current chapter” of the first film.

The standalone story stars Edgar-Jones as Kate Cooper, a former storm chaser haunted by a tornado encounter while in college. After safely studying storm patterns on screens in New York City, she’s lured back to the open plains by a friend, Javi (Ramos), to test a new tracking system. Once there, she crosses paths with Tyler Owens (Powell), a charming and reckless social media superstar who thrives on posting his storm-chasing adventures. As storm season intensifies, terrifying phenomena are unleashed, and the competing teams find themselves in the path of multiple storm systems converging over Oklahoma.

Lee Isaac Chung, who broke through with the Steven Yeun-leading role Minardirected by Mark L. Smith, from a script.

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