Blogger’s Note (02/08): I am revising my prediction from $15.1 million to $13.1 million
Recounting the 2015 attempted train attack en route to France’s capital city, Clint Eastwood’s The15:17toParis hits theaters next weekend. The true life thriller uses the interesting tactic of having the real life heroes that thwarted the attack (Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone) playing themselves. They’re alongside familiar actors including Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, and Jaleel White (known to you and I as Urkel from TV’s “Family Matters”).
Just over three years ago, Mr. Eastwood found his greatest box office success with AmericanSniper. This pic isn’t expected to gross anywhere near that, but it could manage to bring in an older audience who will have little to do with the two competitors debuting against it (FiftyShadesFreed and PeterRabbit).
I could see 15:17 opening right around its title numbers and comparable to what 12Strong made out of the gate just a couple weeks ago.
The15:17toParis opening weekend prediction: $13.1 million
Based on the well-known works of Beatrix Potter, Sony Pictures is hoping family audiences will hop to Peter Rabbit when it debuts next weekend. The mix of live-action and CG animation features the voices of James Corden in the title role along with Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, and Sia. Familiar faces physically present include Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, and Sam Neill. Will Gluck, maker of Easy A and the recent Annie remake, directs.
Rabbit could be in a solid position to attract kids and their parents now that box office juggernaut Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is finally winding down. Many are still familiar with the source material that first appeared in literary form in 1902.
I’ll estimate that the reported $50 million production makes a bit under $20 million out of the gate.
Peter Rabbit opening weekend prediction: $18.7 million
For the third Valentine’s Day frame in the past four years, the romantic adventures of Anastasia and Christian will be on display for moviegoers when Fifty Shades Freed opens next weekend. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan return with James Foley (who made previous entry Fifty Shades Darker) directing. Costars include Kim Basinger, Eric Johnson, Marcia Gay Harden, and Rita Ora.
This is the third and final chapter of the franchise based on E.L. James’s sultry bestsellers. The trailer reminds us to not miss the climax (get it?). The series has been a popular one for Universal Pictures, but there was a significant dip between 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey and 2017 sequel Darker. Three years ago, Grey premiered to $85 million with an eventual $166 million domestic haul. Darker managed $46 million for its start with $114 million overall.
Freed appears likely to follow that downward trend, but its drop shouldn’t be nearly as pronounced as the last one. Current estimates have this hovering around the $40 million mark and that seems about right. I’ll say it falls just under that as fans bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Grey.
Fifty Shades Freed opening weekend prediction: $38.4 million
Blogger’s Note (01/31): I am revisiting my Winchester prediction from $14.1 million to $9.1 million, which means I’m estimating it goes from first to third.
In what should be a rather lackluster weekend with the Super Bowl being played and the month’s heavy hitters waiting in the wings, Helen Mirren led horror pic Winchester is the only wide release hitting screens as February arrives. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:
My low teens predictions for Winchester still might be enough for it to nab the top spot, though it could find itself in a battle with both Jumanji and current top spot holder Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
The Greatest Showman and Hostiles (coming off a stronger than expected wide release) should round out the top five. And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend:
1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Predicted Gross: $12.4 million
2. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Predicted Gross: $10.6 million
Predicted Gross: $9.1 million
4. The Greatest Showman
Predicted Gross: $7.9 million
Predicted Gross: $5.8 million
Box Office Results (January 26-28)
It took nearly a month, but Maze Runner: The Death Cure became the first 2018 title to become #1 at the box office. The third entry in the YA action franchise took in $24.1 million, a bit ahead of my $22.8 million projection. That’s under the previous two entries (which both topped $30 million out of the gate), but decent considering the two-year plus layover between parts 2 and 3.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle dropped to second after three weeks on top with $16.1 million (ahead of my $14.9 million forecast) for $337 million overall.
The lone surprise of the weekend would be Hostiles with Christian Bale, which greatly exceeded expectations with $10.1 million in third place. The well-reviewed Western expanded its theater count and placed on the high-end of estimates. I didn’t even have it in my top 5 and predicted a meager $4.8 million. Oops.
The Greatest Showman was fourth with $9.5 million (I said $8.5 million) for a total of $126 million.
The Post rounded out the top five with $9.1 million (I said $9.4 million) for $58 million overall.
Finally, I had 12 Strong in the top five but Hostiles messed that equation up. It grossed $8.6 million compared to my $8.9 million prediction for $28 million in two weeks.
A surprise addition to this year’s Sundance Film Festival slate was a screening of Tully, the latest comedic drama from director Jason Reitman. The pic focuses on motherhood with the title character being played by Charlize Theron. It also marks Reitman’s third collaboration with writer Diablo Cody. The first – 2007’s Juno – received a host of Oscar nods. The second – 2011’s Young Adult – received no significant awards attention despite some solid reviews.
Early notices are positive and particularly praising of Theron’s work and the supporting performance of Mackenzie Davis as a nanny helping the frazzled Theron. Tully comes out stateside in April and that could be a hindrance to its Oscar potential. Voters will have to recall the work of the aforementioned actresses from months ago. If it hits at the box office, that could certainly help.
Bottom line: Tully could be a factor in both Actress and Supporting Actress, but time will tell.
The 2017 Oscar nominations came out yesterday with yours truly battling a so so 71%. Naturally we now move to predicted winners in the categories. This will not be my last time predicting as I’ll make final winner estimates on the eve of the ceremony.
For now, here’s who and what I have taking home the prized golden statue:
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Best Adapted Screenplay
Call Me by Your Name
Best Original Screenplay
Best Animated Feature
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Documentary Feature
Blade Runner 2049
Best Production Design
The Shape of Water
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Visual Effects
War for the Planet of the Apes
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Original Score
The Shape of Water
Best Original Song
“This is Me” from The Greatest Showman
That’s all for now but expect final predictions shortly before the ceremony!
Blogger’s Note (01/31): I am revisiting my Winchester prediction from $14.1 million to $9.1 million
Helen Mirren goes into horror mode next weekend with the release of Winchester. The supernatural period piece comes from Michael and Peter Spierig, directors of Daybreakers and last year’s Jigsaw. Costars include Jason Clarke, Angus Sampson, and Sarah Snook.
Subtitled The House that Ghosts Built, the Lionsgate release is hoping to bring in genre fans. Horror pics have experienced a good run over the last several months and that could propel this to a more than anticipated debut.
That said, while there’s no competition opening against it, there is a certain football game between New England and Philadelphia on Sunday. The Super Bowl weekend is typically not a robust one at the box office as February heavy hitters wait in the wings.
I’ll project a low to mid teens debut.
Winchester opening weekend prediction: $9.1 million