Monthly Archives: July 2017

Box Office Predictions: August 4-6

Blogger’s Note (08/03): On eve of debut, revising Dark Tower down significantly

The month of August begins at the box office with three new releases hitting multiplexes: the long in the works Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Bigelow’s 1960s set racial drama Detroit, and Halle Berry’s oft delayed thriller Kidnap. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/the-dark-tower-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/detroit-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/kidnap-box-office-prediction/

Over the past week, I have considerably revised my Dark Tower estimate down from a mid 30s debut to now mid 20s. That should be enough to get it to #1, however.

Detroit is garnering highly positive reviews and could certainly over perform, but I’ve got it pegged in the low double digits with a likelihood it plays well through the month. That might be good for anywhere between third and fifth – depending on holdover activity for Emoji Movie and Girls Trip. 

Kidnap could surprise (no one thought Berry’s The Call would do the business it did), but I’m not projecting much for it. My $6.8M estimate puts it outside the top five.

As for holdovers, Dunkirk should slide to second after two weeks on top. Animated movies typically suffer smallish drops in their sophomore weekend, but The Emoji Movie could be an exception to the rule after its dismal reviews and so-so B Cinemascore grade. Girls Trip should continue to impress in week #3.

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

1. The Dark Tower

Predicted Gross: $18.4 million

2. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million (representing a drop of 42%)

3. Girls Trip 

Predicted Gross: $12.9 million (representing a drop of 34%)

4. Detroit

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. The Emoji Movie

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million (representing a drop of 54%)

 

Box Office Results (July 28-30)

Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dunkirk was the first pic since Wonder Woman to stay atop the charts for two weeks in a row as it grossed $26.6 million (under my $32.8M projection) for a two-week total of $101 million.

The Emoji Movie settled for second place with $24.5 million, a bit below my $28.4M forecast. As mentioned, poor reviews and word-of-mouth could keep this from performing well in subsequent weekends.

Girls Trip continued its fantastic run as the comedy of the summer with $19.6 million compared to my $17.3M estimate. Its earned $65 million thus far with the century mark firmly in its sights.

Charlize Theron’s spy thriller Atomic Blonde did rather underwhelming business with $18.2 million, on target with my $18.6M prediction. Mostly solid reviews couldn’t keep this from a mediocre start.

Spider-Man: Homecoming rounded out the top five with $13.2 million (I said $12M) for a $278M overall tally.

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

Kidnap Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (08/03): My estimate has trickled up on the eve of release to $6.8M.

Halle Berry headlines the crime thriller Kidnap next weekend. This is considerably behind the time frame it was supposed to be released and that could serve as a big stumbling block to its box office potential, as its marketing campaign has been fairly minor.

It was over four years ago that Berry’s The Call surprised prognosticators with a more than expected $17 million debut and $51 million overall domestic haul. Kidnap was shot in the fall of 2014 and was likely intended to cash in on that particular hit. However, its studio Relativity ran into financial trouble and the pic was continually pushed back from the original October 2015 release date.

To be fair, no one anticipated The Call ringing up the business it generated and Kidnap could surprise with a low double digits gross (probably the most hopeful scenario for it). Yet I’ll predict it could struggle to even reach $5 million. I’ll put it just over that.

Kidnap opening weekend prediction: $6.8 million

For my The Dark Tower prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/the-dark-tower-box-office-prediction/

For my Detroit prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/detroit-box-office-prediction/

Detroit Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (08/03): My estimate has been revised down just a bit to $11.6M on eve of release.

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal team up for the third time next weekend with Detroit. Their first collaboration resulted in a Best Picture win and Bigelow being the first female to win a gold statue for direction with 2009’s The Hurt Locker, focused on the Iraq War. 2012 follow-up Zero Dark Thirty also received a Best Pic nod, among other nominations, as it zeroed in on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Their third feature goes back 50 years in history to the Algiers Hotel Incident and race riots in the title city. John Boyega of Star Wars fame stars alongside Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski, and Anthony Mackie. Early critical reaction has been strong – it stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes currently. Oscar attention could potentially come its way as well.

Detroit seems like the kind of title where solid word of mouth could allow it to play well throughout the month of August , where competition isn’t overly fierce. The strong reviews could propel it to a high teens gross under a best scenario out of the gate. However, I think it’s more likely it will debut in the low double digits to low teens with hopes of smaller drop-offs in follow-up weekends.

Detroit opening weekend prediction: $11.6 million

For my The Dark Tower prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/the-dark-tower-box-office-prediction/

For my Kidnap prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/kidnap-box-office-prediction/

The Dark Tower Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (08/03): Welp, the revising down continues on the eve of debut to $18.4 million

Blogger’s Note II (07/31): My estimate for The Dark Tower continues to trend downward. I am now revising down to $24.4 million for opening weekend.

Blogger’s Note (07/28): Just a day after posting my $34.6 million estimate, I’m beginning to sour a bit on the opening weekend. I’m revising down to $27.6 million and we’ll see if it continues to trend downward.

Stephen King’s acclaimed book series finally gets the big screen treatment when Nikolaj Arcel’s The Dark Tower debuts next weekend. The author eight novels combining elements of science fiction, horror, action, fantasy, and western themes first hit bookshelves 35 years ago, so there’s been decades of anticipation from its fans to see its adaptation. Idris Elba headlines as hero The Gunslinger with Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black. Costars include Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Jackie Earle Haley, and Dennis Haysbert.

The release of The Dark Tower represents a bit of Stephen King renaissance at the box office as the long-awaited It opens in September. It’s been a while since two high-profile projects from the legendary writer have been teed up for release. A planned follow-up TV series (with Elba) is planned for later. Tower was produced for a reported $60 million (a relatively modest budget as summer flicks go).

It will be fascinating to see just how devoted the fan base is for this. As I see it, the opening could range anywhere from mid 20s to maybe mid 40s on the high end. Even though it’s not a totally fair comp (though genre mash-up elements are in common), I could see this debuting similarly to 2011’s Cowboys & Aliens, which started with $36 million at the same late July/early August time frame. From that same summer six years ago, Super 8 and its $35 million opening could be the same ballpark as well.

The Dark Tower opening weekend prediction: $18.4 million (REVISED PREDICTION)

For my Detroit prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/detroit-box-office-prediction/

For my Kidnap prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/kidnap-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: July 28-30

As July draws to a close this weekend, we have two new entries attempting to knock Dunkirk off its #1 perch. They are the animated pic The Emoji Movie and Charlize Theron action spy thriller Atomic Blonde. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/19/the-emoji-movie-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/19/atomic-blonde-box-office-prediction/

I’m expecting The Emoji Movie to post a debut in the upper 20s – not as high as The Angry Birds Movie from last summer ($38 million) but better than this summer’s Captain Underpants ($23 million).

As for Atomic Blonde, I’ve been consistently revising my projection down since last Wednesday. Even though the pic is getting decent reviews, I’ve gone from $26 million down to high teens. That would likely give it a third place showing (depending on how far Girls Trip drops).

Neither of those openings may be enough to keep Dunkirk from the top spot. I anticipate the critically heralded Chris Nolan war drama to experience a rather small decline in the mid 30s range (more on its opening below).

Girls Trip, coming off a terrific debut, may also experience a smallish decline. The comedy of the summer should benefit from an A+ Cinemascore rating and strong word of mouth. I have it pegged at a 40s dip.

Spider-Man: Homecoming should round out the top five. And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend:

1. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $32.8 million (representing a drop of 34%)

2. The Emoji Movie

Predicted Gross: $28.4 million

3. Atomic Blonde

Predicted Gross: $18.6 million

4. Girls Trip

Predicted Gross: $17.3 million (representing a drop of 44%)

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Predicted Gross: $12 million (representing a drop of 45%)

Box Office Results (July 21-23)

Dunkirk landed on top debuting with a strong $50.5 million (surpassing my $44.7M prediction). Topping the $47 million debut of his last effort Interstellar, look for Nolan’s latest to experience rather meager declines throughout August.

Girls Trip broke the R rated comedy curse of this summer with a magnificent $31.2 million opening for 2nd place, topping my $27.3M estimate. Its budget is only a reported $30 million, so there’s likely champagne bottles popping over at Universal Pictures.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was third with $22.1 million, a tad above my $20.6M projection for a three-week tally of $251 million.

War for the Planet of the Apes dropped significantly in its sophomore frame, placing fourth with $20.8 million (I said $23.5M). The third franchise entry in the Apes saga has taken in $98 million.

While the debut news was celebratory for Dunkirk and Girls Trip, the same cannot be said for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The Luc Besson mega-budgeted science fiction spectacle premiered to a weak $17 million in fifth place, in line with my $17.8M prediction. Look for it to fade quickly stateside while hoping to make some of its budget back overseas.

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

Oscar Watch: Detroit

Detroit is one of those pictures that’s been earmarked for an Oscar Watch post ever since its announcement. After all, this is the third collaboration between director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. The first was 2009’s The Hurt Locker and it won Best Picture and made history when Bigelow was the first female to win Best Director. Boal won Original Screenplay and the film received three other technical victories. Their follow-up, 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, received Picture and another Screenplay nod for Boal, though Bigelow was surprisingly not nominated. It also won Sound Editing and was nominated for overall Editing. These collaborations also resulted in a Best Actor nod for Jeremy Renner for Locker and Best Actress nom for Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark.

So it goes without saying that their third teaming merits awards chatter. That picture is Detroit, which opens on August 4. The period drama recounts the Algiers Hotel incident during the city’s riots of 1967. The review embargo lifted today and early notices are positive (it’s at 100% at the moment on Rotten Tomatoes). For those who say the August release date could be problematic, don’t forget that Hurt Locker hit in the summer as well. That said, some critics have said it doesn’t quite measure up with the first two Bigelow/Boal efforts. If there’s any acting attention, perhaps John Boyega could here his name bandied about in Best Actor. There may be a better chance for costar Will Poulter in Supporting (he’s said to be a standout).

Based on very early reaction, the Picture itself, Bigelow, and Boal look to be in the mix for nominations. Yet it doesn’t seem as slam dunk as eight years ago and maybe not even five years ago.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Dunkirk Movie Review

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk has moments and plenty of them which are simply breathtaking. We expect the director of The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar to serve up a visual treat as he enters the war genre and he does. Yet I didn’t quite anticipate occasional moments of emotional resonance and the tight running time that keeps it moving at a brisk pace. This is an often epic experience in a truncated frame. That decision by the director and his editors allow Dunkirk to capture the fierce urgency of warfare told from three perspectives.

The film recounts the Battle of Dunkirk in Northern France in 1940. The British and their French allies are on the losing side of this particular conflict with the Nazis and evacuation plans are underway. Nolan chooses not to tell the events in a traditional or linear manner. Three stories are highlighted – by land, sea, and air. I list them in that manner because the land piece develops over a week’s time. Our action on the water happens in a day. The air portion is a matter of just an hour.

On land, we meet a number of soldiers desperately searching for escape while trying to help their wounded fellow countrymen. We also listen in on the strategies of the military higher-ups, led by Kenneth Branagh’s sturdy commander.

On the water, Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) answers the call to take his own boat to help pick up soldiers from the extraction area. He brings his son (Tom Glynn-Carney) and friend (Barry Keoghan) along with him. On their way to their destination, they come upon a lone soldier (Cillian Murphy) who is experiencing shock from a U-boat attack.

In the air, Tom Hardy’s Air Force pilot and two fellow fighters must furiously try to down Nazi planes bombing those waiting in the evacuation region, while keeping an eye on their own fuel.

All of this activity unfolds in just over 100 minutes in a picture you’d expect to run closer to three hours. Character development is at a minimum but that’s not a demerit. Dunkirk captures the hectic nature, uncertainty, and chaos of war. With Nolan at the helm and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema behind the lense, it’s also filled with beautiful imagery on a beach filled with soldiers, on the expansive ocean, and in the clouds. The screenplay gives us just enough focus on its characters to make certain situations emotionally resonant. This especially holds true with the sea portion and Rylance’s determined skipper and Murphy’s battle weary soldier.

The time jumping element is one that would make Tarantino proud. That aspect adds an often fresh perspective to the well-worn WWII genre and its glorious and inglorious tales. By its conclusion, we marvel at personal acts by humans caught up in impossible situations in the fog of battle. In a week, a day, and an hour, Dunkirk expertly shows it.

***1/2 (out of four)