Oscar Watch – Spider-Man: Homecoming

When Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters next weekend, it will do so as one of the most critically acclaimed entries of a franchise that began 15 years ago. The superhero reboot currently stands at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes with many critics praising the work of new Spidey Tom Holland and Michael Keaton as main villain Vulture.

Homecoming is the sixth picture of the series. Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man in 2002 landed two Oscars nods – Best Visual Effects and Sound Mixing. Its 2004 sequel scored three – Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects (for which it won). The following three efforts – 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel with Andrew Garfield – received zero nominations.

The new web slinger reboot is one of three comic book pics in 2017 that have earned rave reviews, along with Logan and Wonder Woman. I do anticipate there will be significant chatter as to whether one of them becomes the first superhero flick to get a Best Picture nomination. That said, I suspect the bulk of that speculation will center on Wonder Woman and not this. It could manage to be included in Visual Effects, but competition already appears strong with the likes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dunkirk, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Blade Runner 2049, War for the Planet of the Apes, and others.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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Spider-Man: Homecoming Box Office Prediction

It was 15 summers ago when Spider-Man scored the largest domestic opening of all time (at that juncture) and helped kick off the comic book adaptation bonanza that has yet to let up today. We are now on our third web slinger iteration as Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters next weekend.

Of course, this is not our first time seeing Tom Holland as the new Spidey. He first appeared in last summer’s Captain America: Civil War. In this first solo effort, none other than Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man is appearing alongside him. Jon Watts directs with a supporting cast that includes Michael Keaton as the villainous Vulture, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Jon Favreau, and Zendaya.

This co-production of Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios comes with a reported $175 million budget and lofty expectations. The second reboot of the beloved superhero series certainly is benefited by the new Spidey’s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his Avenger friends.

Homecoming is the sixth overall flick headlined by Spider-Man. Let’s take a trip down franchise lane, shall we?

In looking at the opening grosses of the five previous entries, it’s a bit of a web since some opened over long holiday weekends. The 2002 original made the aforementioned record-setting sum of $114 million out of the gate and $403M overall domestically. The 2004 follow-up opened over a five-day July 4th weekend with $88 million from Friday to Sunday, $151 million from Wednesday to Sunday, and $373M when all was said and done. 2007’s Spider-Man 3 (marking the final appearance of Tobey Maguire in the title role) set the franchise record opening of $151 million, but grossed $336M in total – the lowest of the trilogy. Five years later when Andrew Garfield inherited the tights, The Amazing Spider-Man rolled out over a long six-day July 4th frame with $62 million in the traditional weekend and $137 million over the long weekend. It would go on to make $262M. 2014’s sequel made $91 million for its start and a series low $202M overall.

Got all that? OK! So where does Homecoming stand in comparison? Let’s leave its predecessors alone for just a second as it’s unlikely this will match the overall grosses of this summer’s previous comic book tentpoles Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman. Both of those pics look to near $400 million domestically and place first and second for the season’s top earners. At one time, projections for the new Spidey were as high as $135 million, but they’ve since steadily declined. I believe this will reach over just over what the first picture accomplished a decade and a half ago.

Spider-Man: Homecoming opening weekend prediction: $117.8 million

 

Oscar Watch: War for the Planet of the Apes

The third installment of the current iteration of the nearly 50-year-old franchise War of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t open for two and a half weeks. Yet 20th Century Fox felt fit to lift its review embargo quite early and for good reason.

War is receiving some of the best reviews of a series that already garnered considerable acclaim and box office success. The film stands at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, outpacing the 81% of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and 90% for 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Its solid worth of mouth should make War a potent force at multiplexes on July 14th.

Which brings us to whether or not the picture could swing into the minds of Academy voters. In one sense – it’s seemingly inevitable. Both Rise and Dawn were nominated for Best Visual Effects Oscars and it would be very surprising for War not to follow suit. When it comes to other categories – probably not. Even though this threequel is getting the most fawning notices from several critics of the trio thus far, a Picture nomination seems unlikely.

Finally, I would expect some chatter for Andy Serkis and his motion capture work as Caesar. Yet an acting nomination for him also probably isn’t the cards. Even with its considerable reaction so far, it appears Visual Effects will be War‘s sole nomination.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Box Office Predictions: June 30-July 2

It’s a busy weekend ahead as Despicable Me 3 looks to dominate the box office as the Will Ferrell comedy The House and critically acclaimed musical comedy crime thriller Baby Driver are out as well. There’s also a significant theater expansion for Sofia Coppola’s Civil War dramatic thriller The Beguiled. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all four here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/despicable-me-3-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/the-house-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/baby-driver-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/26/the-beguiled-box-office-prediction/

As I see it, Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable threequel will not reach the heights of its spin-off predecessor Minions, which opened to $115M two summers ago. I’m looking at a return in the high 80s.

The House appears primed for a second place debut (barely) now that Transformers: The Last Knight didn’t fare so well (more on that below). I have a strange suspicion that it could under perform, but it’s got Will Ferrell and is the only real straight up comedy out there so I’m going late teens.

Baby Driver (which rolls out early on Wednesday) could absolutely be a wild card with some breakout potential. It’s got great buzz among the cinephile community, but I’m not sure how much that will translate to robust earnings out of the gate. I have it slated for sixth.

The Beguiled had a terrific limited debut this past weekend and its 550 screen count has me estimating a $3.8M gross.

Holdover action should see a precipitous drop for Transformers with Wonder Woman likely having a smaller decline than Cars 3 considering the animated competition. The Last Knight could even be in danger of slipping to fourth or fifth if holds for the other two aren’t quite as pronounced as my prognoses.

And with that, let’s do a top 6 estimates:

1. Despicable Me 3

Predicted Gross: $88.7 million

2. Transformers: The Last Knight

Predicted Gross: $17.4 million (representing a drop of 61%)

3. Wonder Woman

Predicted Gross: $14.5 million (representing a drop of 42%)

4. The House

Predicted Gross: $13.8 million

5. Cars 3 

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million (representing a drop of 49%)

6. Baby Driver

Predicted Gross: $10.9 million (Friday to Sunday estimate), $15.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (June 23-25)

Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth in the decade long franchise, posted the worst stateside numbers for the series thus far. The critically panned pic earned $44.6 million over the traditional Friday to Sunday weekend and $68.4 million since its Wednesday debut. That’s well below my respective estimates of $57.8M and $81.5M. The previous Transformers low belonged to the 2007 original, which made $70 million for its start. Lucky for Paramount, these flicks still are doing solid business overseas.

There was a photo finish for second place as Wonder Woman made $24.9 million for the runner-up spot. That’s a bit below my $27.6M projection and the DC title has banked $318 million. Cars 3 went from first to third at $24 million and I forecasted more with $30M. The Pixar sequel stands at $98 million.

Shark tale 47 Meters Down held up stronger in its sophomore weekend than I figured. Its $7 million was good for fourth place and I incorrectly had it outside my projected top 5.

The Mummy was fifth with $6 million, under my $7.4M estimate for a $68 million so far. At this point, it looks assured the Tom Cruise pic will not reach $100M domestically and probably earn around $80M.

Finally, Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me had a massive drop in weekend #2, falling to sixth with $5.8 million (I was higher with $8.4M). That’s a 78% plummet and it’s earned $38 million total.

And that does it for now, folks! I’ll be back with next week’s predictions when Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into multiplexes.

The Beguiled Box Office Prediction

After a sizzling start in limited release over the weekend, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled expands its theater count Friday to approximately 550 screens. The Civil War era dramatic thriller has been garnering buzz ever since it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and bestowed its Best Director award for Coppola. Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning headline the loose remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood effort.

Reviews have mostly been strong and it stands at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. There is some Oscar nod potential for its director, Kidman in Actress, and Kirsten Dunst for Supporting Actress. It played in just four theaters over the weekend and amassed an impressive $240,000 from those showings.

If The Beguiled can average close to $7,000 per screen in its expanded release, that would give it just under $4 million for the frame ahead.

The Beguiled opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

For my Despicable Me 3 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/despicable-me-3-box-office-prediction/

For my The House prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/the-house-box-office-prediction/

For my Baby Driver prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/baby-driver-box-office-prediction/

Baby Driver Box Office Prediction

A mashup of all kinds of genres which has already garnered significant critical praise, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver cruises into multiplexes a week from today. The musical action crime comedy stars Ansel Elgort (most known for The Fault in Our Stars) as the title character with a supporting cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and Elza Gonzalez.

When Baby was birthed at the South by Southwest Festival this spring, it did so to great acclaim. The pic stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and marks another well-regarded flick from the maker of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. 

The question is how will this hot buzz translate to box office dollars? There’s plenty of competition around, but audiences could be ready for something original (especially in the midst of many sequels and reboots).

That said, Baby Driver also could perform just decently out of the gate before maintaining a seemingly inevitable cult status. Taking its Wednesday premiere into account, I’ll say a low double digits three-day roll out with a five-day in the mid teens is most likely.

Baby Driver opening weekend prediction: $10.9 million (Friday to Sunday), $15.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Despicable Me 3 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/despicable-me-3-box-office-prediction/

For my The House prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/the-house-box-office-prediction/

For my The Beguiled prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/26/the-beguiled-box-office-prediction/

The House Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (06/29): On eve of debut, revising estimate against to $13.8 million

Bloggers’s Note (06/27): Revising estimate to $18.3M from $22.3M

Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are a married couple who start up an illegal gambling establishment to pay for their daughter’s college in The House next weekend. It’s the directorial debut of Andrew J. Cohen, writer of the Neighbors pics and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Costars include Ryan Simpkins, Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll, and Jeremy Renner.

As far as leading roles go, Ferrell has had a good run lately as Get Hard and Daddy’s Home both debuted in the mid to high 30s range. The former had the benefit of costarring Kevin Hart. The latter benefited from a Christmas release. I don’t see The House reaching those numbers and I see it more likely to be in range (perhaps a bit less) with Ferrell’s The Campaign, which opened to $26 million five summers ago.

Considering its relatively low $40 million reported budget and if it receives decent buzz, this should be a nice size hit for Warner Bros.

The House opening weekend prediction: $13.8 million

For my Despicable Me 3 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/despicable-me-3-box-office-prediction/

For my Baby Driver prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/baby-driver-box-office-prediction/

For my The Beguiled prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/26/the-beguiled-box-office-prediction/

Despicable Me 3 Box Office Prediction

Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster animated franchise is back on screen next weekend as Despicable Me 3 debuts. The series returns the voices of Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig, as well as Trey Parker, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, and Jenny Slate.

The Despicable flicks began in 2010 when the original debuted to $56 million and a $251 million eventual domestic haul. The 2013 sequel reached higher with an $83 million premiere (8th largest animated opening ever) and $368 million overall. Two summers ago, the spin-off Minions opened to an amazing $115 million (good for 3rd animated debut all-time) and $336 million overall.

Will part 3 continue the upward swing as far as openings go? Probably not. As I see it, kids and their folks will still come out in droves.  Illumination would love to see this open with the $104 million achieved by last summer’s The Secret Life of Pets and it’s certainly possible. However, I foresee a start roughly on par with part 2 and maybe a bit higher. My forecast gives it the 8th biggest animated opening, supplanting its predecessor.

Despicable Me 3 opening weekend prediction: $88.7 million

For my The House prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/the-house-box-office-prediction/

For my Baby Driver prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/21/baby-driver-box-office-prediction/

For my The Beguiled prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/26/the-beguiled-box-office-prediction/

Fist Fight Movie Review

Fist Fight is not worth it. It’s not worth the involvement of a decent cast that’s provided laughs in other projects. It’s not even worthy of that bloopers reel that you just know is coming once its 91 minutes thankfully concludes. Even they’re not very funny.

This is a loose remake of 1987 cult comedy Three O’Clock High, a fun little exercise that’s earned its status as an under appreciated flick. The common thread is the long buildup to an eventual brawl in a high school. However, this time it’s the teachers and not the students. In one corner, we have wimpy English teacher Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day). In the other, we have intimidating history instructor Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube).

These two educators are in the last day of school when a dispute leads Cube to challenge Day to its title at 3pm once the bell rings. The circumstances leading to it are not particularly relevant, though they certainly call into question why Cube’s character should be anywhere near a classroom. That’s common here. Most of the characters from faculty to the kids are dumb and constantly doing dumb things. Jillian Bell, who stole scenes in 22 Jump Street, is that teacher we’ve all had who does meth and wants to hook up with the seniors. This is one example of several where the script goes for extreme vulgarity and non-PC humor. Nothing wrong with that, but it rarely lands with its crass chuckles attempts.

Cube scowls his way through. Day plays up the always nerve-wracked weakling. Somewhere in here is an attempted message about bravery and not backing down to powers that be. If only some of the talent here could have been brave enough to punch up this lackadaisical screenplay.

*1/2 (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: June 23-25

There’s only one new wide release offering this week and that would be Transformers: The Last Knight, which is easily primed to debut at #1. You can read my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/06/14/transformers-the-last-knight-box-office-prediction/

My prediction for it gives it the lowest traditional Friday to Sunday opening for the franchise yet. One reason is simple: Knight is out Wednesday so its extra two days will eat into the traditional weekend frame. The second reason is that I suspect this could be a series that’s losing steam. Still – the franchise is likely to impress overseas.

As for holdovers, Cars 3 looks to drop in the mid 40s in its sophomore weekend while Wonder Woman should continue its impressive holds in third place. The Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me is highly likely to experience a severe drop in its second weekend as even its first weekend gross was front loaded. The Mummy should round out the top five.

And with that, my top 5 estimates for the weekend ahead:

1. Transformers: The Last Knight

Predicted Gross: $57.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $81.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

2. Cars 3 

Predicted Gross: $30 million (representing a drop of 44%)

3. Wonder Woman

Predicted Gross: $27.6 million (representing a drop of 33%)

4. All Eyez on Me

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million (representing a drop of 68%)

5. The Mummy

Predicted Gross: $7.4 million (representing a drop of 49%)

Box Office Results (June 16-18) 

As expected, Pixar continued its streak of #1 hits with Cars 3 opening to $53.6 million, a bit under my $57.8M prediction. While this is a decent showing, it is the lowest of the franchise and the smallest summertime opening for the studio since 2007’s Ratatouille. With stronger reviews than its predecessor, it looks to have a rather solid hold next weekend before Despicable Me 3 hits screens the following weekend.

Wonder Woman continues to astound as it dipped just 29% in its third weekend to $41.2 million for second, outshining my $32.6M estimate. The DC juggernaut has taken in $275 million.

The Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me proved critic proof as audiences flocked to it. It made $26.4 million for third (topping my $22.4M prediction). As mentioned, it will probably suffer a precipitous fall in its second weekend.

The Mummy fell to fourth place with $14.5 million (a bit ahead of my $13.2M forecast) for a weak total of $57 million.

Shark thriller 47 Meters Down performed at the higher end of expectations with a $11.2 million debut, easily topping my $6.1M projection. Considering it was originally slated for just a VOD premiere last summer, this is a pleasing opening for Entertainment Studios.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was sixth and I incorrectly had it outside of that. The fifth entry in the Disney series made $8.9 million to bring its tally to $150 million.

The disappointment of the weekend was unquestionably Rough Night, the Scarlett Johansson comedy that couldn’t overcome middling reviews and non-existent buzz. It generated just $8 million (well below my $15.1M estimate) for seventh place. This marks the star’s second under performer this year after March’s Ghost in the Shell. 

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…