Collide Box Office Prediction

Action thriller Collide, out next weekend, was filmed nearly three years ago and has collected dust on the stateside shelf. It was scheduled to be released domestically nearly a year and a half ago back before Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy.

On the plus side, at least one of the actors in it has become considerably more famous since. Felicity Jones is among the cast and her profile has gone up immensely since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It shouldn’t matter much. Other stars include Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley, and Marwan Kenzari.

The bank heist flick has received very limited promotion and it looks like it’s essentially being dumped into an uninterested marketplace. I believe Collide may not even reach $3 million and be On Demand your viewing pleasure quite soon.

Collide opening weekend prediction: $2.1 million

For my Get Out prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/get-out-box-office-prediction/

For my Rock Dog prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/rock-dog-box-office-prediction/

Rock Dog Box Office Prediction

For dogs about to rock… we salute you? That’s the question audiences will answer next weekend when the animated tale (tail?) Rock Dog hits theaters. The 3D generated comedy was co-produced by a Chinese studio and already opened in that country to lackluster results.

The voice cast features Luke Wilson as a canine with musical aspirations. Other well-known faces behind the mic include J.K. Simmons, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, Sam Elliot, Kenan Thompson, Jorge Garcia, and Matt Dillon. Family audiences should still be checking out Lego Batman in its third weekend and the recent musical ‘toon Sing was a box office smash.

As I see it, Rock Dog is highly likely to get lost in the shuffle with its intended crowd. I have doubts this will even reach $5 million for its start.

Rock Dog opening weekend prediction: $4.4 million

For my Get Out prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/get-out-box-office-prediction/

For my Collide prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/collide-box-office-prediction/

Get Out Box Office Prediction

A performer known for a groundbreaking comedy sketch show directing a horror film with racial overtones? Get Out is certainly not your typical genre fare nor are its reviews. We’ll see how this mix plays with audiences next weekend. Jordan Peele (one half of Comedy Central’s Key and Peele) is behind the camera for the tale of an interracial couple who visit the girl’s Caucasian parents. They find a history of African Americans disappearing in the community.

Daniel Kaluuya. Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, and Catherine Keener headline the cast. When Get Out premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, it did so to many raves and it currently sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The electric word of mouth should provide a boost, but I’m skeptical as to how much of one. Traditional slasher horror fans may not know what to make of it and the edgy subject matter may not necessarily bring others in.

That said, I believe a debut in the mid teens is likely which would be a perfectly acceptable roll out.

Get Out opening weekend prediction: $16.3 million

For my Rock Dog prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/rock-dog-box-office-prediction/

For my Collide prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/collide-box-office-prediction/

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

We’ve seen plenty of coming of age teen dramedies since the 1980s and beyond. It’s the kind of thing John Hughes cornered a market on three decades ago. I have a feeling Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen would’ve made him smile. It presents teens who are smart and complicated. High schoolers who are capable of being wholly self-absorbed yet most of it stems from insecurity. Our central character Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) means well most of the time, at least in her own mind. And she’s the prime example of the traits listed above. With a truly impressive performance from an actress who broke out at age 14 in the Coens True Grit, both Steinfeld and Craig’s screenplay make Nadine feel authentic. You root for her even when you’re exasperated by her. Many a parent with teens could surely relate.

Nadine is an outsider – a high school junior with only one real friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). She’s always been a bit of a loner and the loss of her beloved father four years ago complicated it. Her overwhelmed Mom (Kyra Sedgwick) has a tough time figuring how to deal with her, while her super popular older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) seems to have life all figured out. When Darian and Krista begin dating, Nadine’s abandonment issues only worsen.

Throughout the picture, she turns to various people to try and alleviate her social awkwardness. This includes slightly nerdy student Erwin (Hayden Szeto), who’s crushing on her and too cool for school student Nick (Alexander Calvert), who she’s crushing on. Both relationships present with their own versions of humorous and recognizable awkwardness. Nadine also confides in her teacher Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson). He’s nowhere near the uncaring educator you’d witness in other genre pics nor the always wiser than thou teach you may have seen before. He clearly cares about Nadine, but his advice and comebacks are often genuinely surprising. There’s a subtly played moment where his pupil realizes her teacher has a life outside of the classroom and it feels just right. Most pleasingly, the role serves as another reminder that Harrelson has morphed into one of the most interesting character actors working today. He’s a pleasure to watch.

So is Steinfeld and the rest of the cast. The Edge of Seventeen might be more satisfying to viewers who have surpassed the age in the title by a few years. There may be more satisfaction for adults who can pick out their own remembrances of what it was like to be that age, when the highs couldn’t have seemed higher and the lows were literally the end of the world. Kelly Fremon Craig has crafted a perceptive, occasionally laugh out loud funny, and genuinely emotional snapshot of someone in that time period.

***1/2 (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: February 17-20

President’s Day weekend has arrived at the box office with three new titles debuting over the four-day holiday frame: Matt Damon’s action epic The Great Wall, Ice Cube/Charlie Day comedy Fist Fight, and Gore Verbinski’s horror thriller A Cure for Wellness. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/the-great-wall-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/fist-fight-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/a-cure-for-wellness-box-office-prediction/

None of the trio is likely to dislodge the Caped Crusader and his Lego friends from the top perch in its second weekend. In fact, this particular February weekend often sees holdovers experience smallish declines. The Lego Movie dipped just 9% in the 2014 PD weekend and I expect the same type of minor dip for its spin-off.

With the #1 film safely (I think) determined, the rest of the top five is much more unpredictable. Looking over the past few President’s Day weekends, newbies opening in the mid to high 20s is commonplace. This applied to titles such as Unknown, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, A Good Day to Die Hard, Safe Haven, About Last Night, and Robocop. I foresee both Wall and Fight falling in this range for a photo finish for #2.

Then there’s Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter 2, both in their sophomore weekends. I don’t see Darker having a 74% drop like its predecessor Fifty Shades of Grey experienced (it had a much bigger opening for one thing). However, I could see it losing half its audience easily as grosses for this franchise are front loaded. Wick may lose less than a third of its debut crowd for a solid hold. And that could create another photo finish between these sequels.

This leaves A Cure for Wellness. Strong reviews may have helped this, but it’s not getting them and I’m diagnosing just a low double digits premiere for a probable sixth place showing.

And with that, my top 6 projections for this busy weekend:

1. The Lego Batman Movie

Predicted Gross: $49.4 million (representing a drop of 6%)

2. The Great Wall

Predicted Gross: $25.6 million

3. Fist Fight

Predicted Gross: $25.1 million

4. John Wick: Chapter 2

Predicted Gross: $21.5 million (representing a drop of 29%)

5. Fifty Shades Darker

Predicted Gross: $21.3 million (representing a drop of 54%)

6. A Cure for Wellness

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

Box Office Results (February 10-12)

The Lego Batman Movie took the top spot, though not with as much ease as many thought it would. The critically acclaimed animated spin-off grossed $53 million, a decent number but not near the $69M made by The Lego Movie in its inaugural weekend and under my $65.8M projection. That said, as mentioned above, its drop this weekend should be slight.

Fifty Shades Darker opened in second at $46.6 million, in line with my $44.8M estimate. This is far from the $85 million achieved two years back by Fifty Shades of Grey, but it’s actually above some of the predictions from prognosticators in the past week or so.

John Wick: Chapter 2 capitalized on the goodwill left over from the 2014 original with a strong $30.4 million, more than doubling the $14M earned by its predecessor two and a half years back. It easily eclipsed my $20.7M estimate.

Holdovers rounded out the top five with Split dropping to fourth at $9.5 million (I said $8.2M) for a $112M total and Hidden Figures at fifth with $8 million (I said $6.9M) for a $131M overall haul.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

Todd’s Updated 2016 Oscar Winner Predictions

Good Sunday all! 15 days from today, the Oscars will air and for the next three Sundays, I’ll be giving you my take on where I see each category standing. This means my winner prediction and each nominee listed in order of likelihood to take their prize.

My final predictions will post on Sunday, February 26 prior to the broadcast the next day. Let’s get to it, shall we?

BEST PICTURE

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Manchester by the Sea

4) Hidden Figures

5) Lion

6) Arrival

7) Hacksaw Ridge

8) Hell or High Water

9) Fences

BEST DIRECTOR

1) Damien Chazelle, La La Land

2) Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

3) Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

4) Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

5) Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

BEST ACTOR

1) Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

2) Denzel Washington, Fences

3) Ryan Gosling, La La Land

4) Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

5) Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

BEST ACTRESS

1) Emma Stone, La La Land

2) Natalie Portman, Jackie

3) Isabelle Huppert, Elle

4) Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

5) Ruth Negga, Loving

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1) Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

2) Dev Patel, Lion

3) Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

4) Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

5) Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1) Viola Davis, Fences

2) Naomie Harris, Moonlight

3) Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

4) Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

5) Nicole Kidman, Lion

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1) Moonlight

2) Lion

3) Hidden Figures

4) Fences

5) Arrival

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1) Manchester by the Sea

2) La La Land

3) Hell or High Water

4) The Lobster

5) 20th Century Women

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1) Zootopia

2) Kubo and the Two Strings

3) Moana

4) My Life as a Zucchini

5) The Red Turtle

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1) The Salesman

2) Toni Erdmann

3) Land of Mine

4) A Man Called Ove

5) Tanna

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1) I Am Not Your Negro

2) O.J.: Made in America

3) 13th

4) Fire at Sea

5) Life, Animated

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Arrival

4) Lion

5) Silence

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1) Jackie

2) La La Land

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Florence Foster Jenkins

5) Allied

BEST EDITING

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Arrival

4) Hacksaw Ridge

5) Hell or High Water

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

1) Star Trek Beyond

2) Suicide Squad

3) A Man Called Ove

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1) La La Land

2) Arrival

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Hail, Caesar!

5) Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1) La La Land

2) Lion

3) Moonlight

4) Jackie

5) Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1) “City of Stars” from La La Land

2) “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

3) “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” from Trolls

4) “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land

5) “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story

BEST SOUND EDITING

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

4) Deepwater Horizon

5) Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

4) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

5) 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1) The Jungle Book

2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3) Doctor Strange

4) Kubo and the Two Strings

5) Deepwater Horizon

Next Update will be Be Sunday!

A Cure for Wellness Box Office Prediction

The cinematic stylings of director Gore Verbinski returns to screens next weekend when A Cure for Wellness opens. The horror thriller set in the Swiss Alps finds Dane DeHaan as a businessman trapped in a mysterious “wellness” center. Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth costar. Its trailer is filled with striking visuals that have part of Verbinski’s repertoire. The filmmaker had some massive hits with The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean and its first two sequels. However, his previous effort The Lone Ranger was an expensive dud.

While the previews look fascinating, reviews have not been very strong and it stands at just 36% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Its two and a half hour running time (something several critics have noted as a flaw) could also be a detriment, as well as competition for the same audience from John Wick: Chapter 2 and The Great Wall.

Wellness is highly likely to place third among the trio of newcomers debuting over Presidents Day weekend and it could struggle to place in the top five. I’ll say a low double digits premiere is the diagnosis here.

A Cure for Wellness opening weekend prediction: $10.2 million

For my The Great Wall prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/the-great-wall-box-office-prediction/

For my Fist Fight prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/fist-fight-box-office-prediction/

Fist Fight Box Office Prediction

Ice Cube and Charlie Day headline the comedy Fist Fight, which hits theaters over Presidents Day weekend. A loose remake of the 1987 cult pic Three O’Clock High, costars include Tracy Morgan (in his first film after his auto accident), Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Mr. Cube has had his share of laugh inducing hits and franchises over the years with Barbershop, 21/22 Jump Street, and Ride Along. Day is best known for TV’s “It Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the Horrible Bosses flicks.

Fight pits Cube as a teacher challenging his fellow educator to a schoolyard brawl. With its simple concept, known stars in the genre, and really zero competition when it comes to comedies (save for Lego Batman I suppose), I’ll predict this manages a mid 20s four day debut. It could even fight for the highest opening among the two others newbies (The Great Wall, A Cure for Wellness) over the holiday weekend.

Fist Fight opening weekend prediction: $25.1 million

For my The Great Wall prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/the-great-wall-box-office-prediction/

For my A Cure for Wellness prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/a-cure-for-wellness-box-office-prediction/

The Great Wall Box Office Prediction

Just a few months after reviving his Jason Bourne character, Matt Damon is back in theaters battling monsters in China in The Great Wall, out next weekend. This is the most expensive film shot entirely in that country and it was released overseas at the end of 2016, grossing over $200 million thus far. The historical action fantasy comes from acclaimed director Zhang Yimou, who’s responsible for foreign hits such as Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. Costars include Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Andy Lau, and Willem Dafoe.

How will the pic, which seems made primarily to make its bulk of cash in Asia, play stateside? It could face some hurdles. Reviews haven’t been too strong and it stands at 44% currently on Rotten Tomatoes.

As I see it, The Great Wall will be lucky to break $100 million domestically and it probably will fall short. Opening over the long Presidents Day weekend, I think it should manage a mid to high 20s debut with possibly a fairly steep decline the following weekend.

The Great Wall opening weekend prediction: $25.6 million

For my Fist Fight prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/fist-fight-box-office-prediction/

For my A Cure for Wellness prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/a-cure-for-wellness-box-office-prediction/

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Blogger’s Note: It is difficult to properly review Manchester by the Sea without some spoilers. If you wish to go into the movie completely fresh, I would suggest waiting until post viewing to read.

Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan knows that sometimes the most effective and emotional moments in film come from hearing what is not said. Sometimes the interactions between characters aren’t most dramatic when everything is laid on the table, but when they can’t find the words to express their feelings. We witness that in his latest picture Manchester by the Sea. This is a subtle tale of grief with some truly fine acting. Most pleasingly, Lonergan doesn’t over do it with subject matter  and that would’ve been the easy route to go. The New England residents he writes of are experiencing unimaginable sadness, yet they grieve in their own way that rings authentic.

Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is a Massachusetts janitor who seems to keep to himself. Even the everyday banter of his clients is a chore for him to listen and respond to. His dull existence is interrupted by news that his brother (Kyle Chandler) has died of a heart attack. He returns home to the title town with the task of informing his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) of his father’s death. The mom (Gretchen Mol) is out of the picture – miles away and apparently an unreliable alcoholic. To Lee’s rather unpleasant surprise, he is named guardian to Patrick.

The pic alternates between flashbacks and present day as we see that Lee once had a fun loving relationship with his nephew. We also see his own family existence with wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and three young children. It’s far from perfect but it seems relatively happy. Lee does drink too much and it’s an error on his part that causes their home to burn down. Randi survives. The children do not. With their world turned upside down, the marriage dissolves and Lee relocates.

His return years later finds him alternating between semi-parenting Patrick through his own tragedy and being ambivalent. This is not with long and drawn out passages of dialogue about feelings and death, but through observing both of their journeys as they process their losses. Some of it is done through humor, as Lee navigates how to respond to Patrick’s two girlfriends.

As mentioned, the Big Scene moments that other more heart string tugging screenplays might dwell on are absent here. The camera hangs back when Patrick is delivered the news of his dad’s passing. His mother’s substance abuse problems are handled in a single shot. We don’t see the chaos that ensued with Lee and Randi’s divorce. Most powerfully, the eventual confrontation between them isn’t lengthy, but it packs a gut punch by what isn’t said.

Lonergan makes us care about these people, flaws and all. The actors playing them accentuate it tremendously. This is probably the best performance of Affleck’s career. Hedges is completely believable as the teen dealing with all the drama in his own way. Williams has limited screen time but makes the most of it, especially in the aforementioned scene with Lee.

Manchester by the Sea holds us in its grip as we take in its lovely East Coast scenery. They say New Englanders aren’t the type to be overtly expressive in their emotions and that’s the case here. We may not always hear what they’re thinking, but this script and these performers convey it. And that’s says a lot.

***1/2 (out of four)