Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

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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
Zach Mills
Narrated byZach Mills
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Aaron Zigman
CinematographyRoman Osin
Edited bySabrina Plisco
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 16, 2007 (2007-11-16)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$65 million[1]
Box office$69.5 million[2]

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a 2007 Canadian–American family/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 music composed by Alexandre Desplat and Aaron Zigman.

The film stars Dustin Hoffman as the owner of a magical toy store, and Natalie Portman as his store employee. Also starring Jason Bateman as the accountant and Zach Mills as the hat collector and his store volunteer.

The film was theatrically released on November 16, 2007 by 20th Century Fox. The film grossed $69.5 million worldwide. It received a Young Artist Award nomination 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.


Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), an amateur pianist, is an employee at "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium", a magical and sentient toy shop run by the eccentric 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 young age. One day, the store develops a large grey patch on one of its walls, which rumbles periodically.

In response to Molly telling Mr. Magorium that she feels stuck, he gives her the Congreve Cube, a big block of wood, and tells her it will guide her to a new life and adventure if she has faith in it. Molly wants to become a composer and concert pianist, but has not been able to write any music since graduating. At home, she works on a concerto with little progress.

Mr. Magorium suddenly announces that he intends to "leave" and is giving the shop to Molly to provide her with the means to move forward and become "unstuck" in life. 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, arguing with Molly over its properties and debating the actuality of Magorium's records from the past 200 years, most of which are entirely lost.

When Molly expresses her doubts and becoming upset about her ability to run the store, the Emporium 'throws a tantrum', assaulting everyone inside with the toys until Magorium calms it down. Molly finally realizes that Mr. Magorium is leaving not to retire but instead he is going to die. Desperate to stop this, Molly rushes him to a hospital where he is discharged the next day because nothing is physically wrong with him.

After leaving the hospital, Mr. Magorium asks Molly how she is doing with the Congreve Cube and asks what would happen if she believed in it. Molly does not understand but attempts to prevent Mr. Magorium's departure by showing him the joys of life, but he knows it is time for his story to end. Utilizing the stage notes of Shakespeare's King Lear to make the point about the importance of death, Magorium states the last lines of one of the most important pieces of dramatic literature are simply "he dies" before his death. Molly, Eric, all the children and their parents have a funeral for him.

Believing herself to be unworthy and incapable of owning a magical store, Molly puts it up for sale. The store grieves and loses all its magic, becoming varying shades of gray and black. Eric tries to reason with Molly over her decision to sell the store when he sees her at a hotel playing background music.

Henry meets Molly at the store 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 and the Congreve Cube's magical ability, the block suddenly springs to life, and proceeds to fly around the store. After witnessing this, Henry faints with shock. When he later awakes and questions Molly about it, she tells him that it must have been a dream as she went home the previous night, leaving him to finalize the paperwork for the sale.

Henry is not deterred as he knows Molly made the cube fly and though she does not believe she can do magical and wonderful things, he believes in her. Henry realizes Molly is the Congreve Cube, a block of wood that can be anything if she can somehow believe in herself. Henry's wholehearted belief in Molly ignites a tiny spark in her and she believes. The store responds to her belief and continues to respond as her confidence builds until the entire store magnificently transforms. The magic and color return as Molly's long-awaited symphony comes into existence.


  • Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Edward Magorium, a toy impresario, a wonder aficionado, and an avid shoe wearer. He is loved by all, and has lived for over two centuries. He lives in his own home hidden behind a magical closet with a knob that turns to change rooms and owns a pet zebra named Mortimer.
  • Natalie Portman as Molly Mahoney, the Store Manager, and former child piano prodigy, who feels "stuck" in life and struggles with self-doubt.
  • Jason Bateman as Henry Weston (aka "Mutant"), the straight-laced, rigid Accountant hired to get Mr. Magorium's paperwork and will in order. He does not believe in the shop's magic—until the end of the film.
  • Zach Mills as Eric Applebaum, a 9 year old Hat Collector who comes to the store regularly and functions as an employee despite his age. He interacts with the people in the store, although he has trouble making friends. He also narrates the beginning, the end, and introduces the chapters.
  • Ted Ludzik as Bellini, the Bookbuilder who was born in the shop's basement. He also writes Mr. Magorium's biography. He looks like a circus strong-man with a big moustache that curls round at the end; he also has full sleeve tattoos on both arms.
  • Kiele Sanchez as Mrs. Goodman
  • Jonathan Potts as the doctor


Filming started March 31, 2006 and continued 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. A cameo "just shopping" in the emporium marked the first major theatrical appearance of Kermit the Frog since 1999's Muppets from Space.


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


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 office[edit]

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 total of box office return of $67.5 million.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Jason Bateman was praised by critics for his performance.

As of July 12, 2008 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 37% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 124 reviews, with the consensus among negative critics that "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] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone declared the film the year's Worst Family Film on his list of the Worst Movies of 2007.[8]

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".[9]

Despite the negative reception, the film has won two awards: one is the Heartland Film Festival Truly Moving Pictures award and the Dove Foundation seal of approval. Dove also stated that the film was "a delightful family film". Also, Shawn Edwards of Fox replied it was "the most magical film of the year".

Writer-director Zach Helm later admitted his film was "a trainwreck", after the film was referenced on an episode of the AMC drama Breaking Bad.[1]

Home media[edit]

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


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


See also[edit]


  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. Flixter. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  7. ^ "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  8. ^ Travers, Peter (December 19, 2007). "Peter Travers' Best and Worst Movies of 2007". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  9. ^ Arnold, William (November 15, 2007). "Gentle whimsy of Emporium will appeal to children – and win over their parents". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved March 5, 2008.

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