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)
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 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: $25.2 million
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
FistFight 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 ThreeO’ClockHigh, 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 22JumpStreet, 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.
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.
A week from today, Transformers: The Last Knight appears primed to easily rule the #1 spot. The question is how the fifth entry in the franchise performs compared to its predecessors. Michael Bay is back in the director’s chair (reportedly for the final time) with returning cast members Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, and John Turturro. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Nicola Peltz are new to the series. Most importantly, Optimus, Bumblebee, and plenty of Autobots and Decepticons return in their CG form.
The pic, with its reported $260 million budget, faces no other features opening directly against it. This Transformers franchise has shown itself to be critic proof over its decade of existence. That said, Knight‘s predecessor posted a series low domestically.
Let’s take a trip down box office grosses lane for these bots, shall we?
Opening Weekend: $70.5 million three-day opening with $155 million over six-day July 4th weekend roll out. $319 million total domestic gross.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Opening Weekend: $108.9 million three-day opening with $200 million five-day roll out. $402 million total domestic gross.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Opening Weekend: $97.8 million three-day opening with $180.6 million six-day July 4th weekend roll out. $352 million total domestic gross.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Opening Weekend: $100 million. $245 million total domestic gross.
As you can see, Age of Extinction earned more than $100 million less than the third entry. It’s also the only one that opened over a regular three-day release. The Last Knight debuts on Wednesday so you’ll be witnessing my guesstimate for its traditional weekend and five-day gross.
Whew… got all that?
Knight appears likely to suffer from franchise fatigue stateside. It’s worth noting that this franchise makes a killing overseas and that should not change. I could see a three-day haul in the mid to high with a five-day take of just over $80 million.
Transformers: The Last Knight opening weekend prediction: $57.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $81.5 million (Friday to Sunday)
TheMummy is many things to Universal Pictures and it has many conflicting tones to go along with it. The film shares the name of franchise of the Brendan Fraser flicks started in 1999 and little else. Most importantly, it’s the premiere title of the studio’s planned Dark Universe series which will bring back invisible and wolf men and Frankensteins and their brides.
Perhaps that’s why TheMummy can often seem like a preview of what’s to come. Based on this initial offering, the Dark Universe and its grand designs to bring back the classic monsters of Universal’s past is iffy but not without some occasional charms.
A prologue tells the tale of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), Egyptian royalty primed to rule her land. Family complications alter that course so she goes on a murderous rampage which results in her mummification. Her story is buried for centuries until present day.
That’s when Nick Morton, a former soldier still in Iraq to pillage treasure with his comedic sidekick (Jake Johnson) inadvertently unearth the Princess’s tomb. Our title character has serious cursing skills and uses them on Nick and others. Thus begins an attempt to destroy her and get Mr. Cruise back to his normal self.
The screenplay makes the decision to make Nick a bit of an anti hero. He’s a slight jerk who’s in it for himself for a good portion of the running time. There are shades of Cruise’s character in EdgeofTomorrow, a better film to be sure. It allows this movie star a chance to be funny at times, a little cowardly, and it’s kind of fun to watch Cruise play it.
What the script doesn’t do is provide any development to his archeologist love interest and investigative partner Jennifer (Annabelle Wallis). We’re told the two shacked up a couple of nights before we meet them, but their connection is pretty much non existent. As mentioned, it’s sometimes a hoot to see Nick as a louse. When the screenplay tries to get us to care about his feelings for Jennifer, it falls flat.
For that matter, the lovely Boutella isn’t much of a scary villain. Sidekick Johnson has a few humorous bits, but gets lost in the shuffle mostly. There’s not much time for character development sans Cruise’s take on his part. Russell Crowe is here as Dr. Jekyll so we know he gets to have some duality in his role. His performance is just fine, though one suspects his real opportunities will come later in this universe.
This Mummy works best when it goes campy – something I wouldn’t have guessed. A number of moments going for intentional chuckles work. However, the studio has much to set up and allowing director Alex Kurtzman and his slew of writers go full out camp doesn’t happen. This creates an uncomfortable mix of horror, adventure, and the aforementioned and often successful self parody. Much of TheMummy is filled with action sequences that are indistinguishable from other summer blockbusters (though a zero gravity plane crash is nifty). We don’t really care about what’s happening because Universal seems in a hurry to get to the next monster mash. Yet I’ll be figuratively damned if I didn’t enjoy some of it.
This should be one interesting weekend at the box office as four new titles make their debut: Pixar sequel Cars 3, Scarlett Johansson bachelorette comedy Rough Night, Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me, and shark attack thriller 47 Meters Down. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
As I see it, Cars 3 should easily take its place atop the charts (as pretty much all Pixar features do). However, my estimate for it puts it below both of its predecessors.
Wonder Woman displayed a remarkable hold in its sophomore frame (more on that below) and should hold the #2 spot over the influx of newbies.
If there’s one picture with breakout potential, it’s All Eyez on Me. Just two summers ago, we saw Straight Outta Compton greatly exceed all expectations when it grossed over $60 million out of the gate. Eyez doesn’t seem to have that kind of buzz going for it, but I’m predicting a sturdy third place showing.
That puts Rough Night in fourth with a rather ho-hum debut. It seems to be sliding down considerably from its original $25 million projections.
The Mummy stumbled in its premiere (more on that below as well) and I foresee a hefty dip in weekend #2 for fifth place.
Maybe it’s not wise to bet against audience love for sharks (The Shallows proved that last summer), but I’ve got 47 Meters Down earning the least among the fresh quartet for a sixth place showing.
And with that, my top 6 projections for the bustling weekend ahead:
1. Cars 3
Predicted Gross: $57.8 million
2. Wonder Woman
Predicted Gross: $32.6 million (representing a drop of 44%)
3. All Eyez on Me
Predicted Gross: $24.4 million
4. Rough Night
Predicted Gross: $15.1 million
5. The Mummy
Predicted Gross: $13.2 million (representing a drop of 58%)
6. 47 Meters Down
Predicted Gross: $6.1 million
Box Office Results (June 9-11)
As mentioned, Wonder Woman continued its terrific run by dropping only 43% (a noteworthy hold for its genre) to $58.5 million. This topped my $49.5M projection and brought its ten-day total to $206 million. The superhero flick stands a decent shot at overtaking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the season’s hottest ticket.
Tom Cruise’s The Mummy was hindered by poor reviews and word of mouth with a second place opening at $31.6 million (a bit under my $34.7M forecast). While it’s doing better overseas, this will undoubtedly be a major disappointment stateside.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie was third in its sophomore frame with $12.1 million, under my $14.1M projection for a so-so overall gross of $44M.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was fourth with $10.7 million (I said $10.2M) to bring its tally to $135M.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was fifth and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It made $6.3 million and has earned $366M total.
That’s because critically acclaimed horror pic It Comes at Night had a soft showing with just $5.9 million in sixth (I said $9.5M). While reviews were strong, audience reaction has been negative and look for this to fade very quickly.
Finally, the combo of military themes and dogs gave Megan Leavey an 8th place debut with $3.7 million (I said $3.3M).
Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness is a visually sumptuous experience that deserves a fascinating plot to go with the scenery. It’s not really there, however, so we’re left with an eye popping failure that goes on far too long. Spending two and a half hours in the Swiss Alps isn’t so bad at times, but I wish the screenwriter had realized the story is essentially nothing new. There’s shades of Shutter Island (not just because its lead resembles a younger Leo DiCaprio), plenty of Gothic horror entries, and even a Marathon Man school of dentistry moment. Does it add up to a satisfying whole? Not so much.
Dane DeHaan stars as Lockhart, a workaholic at an NYC financial firm who is tasked with traveling across the ocean to retrieve a coworker. That individual is Pembroke (Harry Groener), the company’s CEO who has gone MIA and is holed up at a mysterious “wellness center” in the mountains of Switzerland. The firm needs him back as they are mired in a trading scandal and forthcoming merger. Lockhart, with his unbridled ambition, is eager to do it.
Once there, he discovers a place filled with some of the world’s 1% trying to improve their lives. It’s run by the mysterious Dr. Heinrich Volmer (Jason Isaacs), who encourages Lockhart and his clientele to be drinking the water fed to them continuously. We suspect it’s not just to keep hydrated due to the altitude.
Lockhart is also told that once you’re at the lush spa, you don’t leave and he discovers this the hard way. His seemingly interminable stay (it sometimes feels that way for us too) acquaints him with Hannah (Mia Goth), a mysterious young girl who still acts far younger than she should. It is this duo that tries to discover the truth behind their surroundings.
A Cure for Wellness is a triumph of production design and other technical aspects. Verbinski, the director of Mousehunt and the American version of The Ring and first three Pirates of the Caribbean pics, has shown these abilities before. If only that pesky story were more original. If only the characters inhabiting this peculiar land were more developed. For instance, Dehaan’s lead character is saddled with a familiar backstory of Daddy issues. Two and a half hours is too much time to be spent here no matter how gorgeous it looks.
Another shark tale swims into theaters next weekend when 47 Meters Down debuts. Johannes Roberts directs the killer shark pic with Mandy Moore, Matthew Modine, and Claire Holt among the human chum.
The horror thriller has experienced an interesting journey to the big screen. Original distributor Dimension Films slated Meters for a VOD premiere in August 2016 before Entertainment Studios stepped in, bought the rights, and decided a theatrical release was in order.
Why the change? One has to surmise that last summer’s success of the The Shallows (perhaps coupled with TV’s Sharknado ratings) helped. Another benefit: star Moore has seen her visibility rise with her hit TV drama “This Is Us”.
How will this translate to its box office potential? 47 Meters Down should certainly rank fourth among the newbies out next weekend – well behind Cars 3, All Eyez on Me, and Rough Night. I’ll predict a floor of about $5 million with a ceiling of $8 million. My gut has it on the lower end of that scale.
47 Meters Down opening weekend prediction: $6.1 million