Monthly Archives: November 2018

Oscar Watch: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks the Internet is expected to easily hit the #1 spot at the box office over the Thanksgiving holiday. The film is Disney’s highly anticipated sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It-Ralph and reviews are out today.

The verdict? Much like its predecessor, critical notice is strong as it currently stands at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Some early notices say it doesn’t quite match the original, but it’s all pretty much a positive vibe.

As to where that puts Internet in the Oscar race for Best Animated Feature, I’d say it’s almost certainly in. Wreck-It-Ralph also nabbed a nomination in that category, but lost to Disney/Pixar’s Brave. That would appear to be what will happen again as Ralph should get a nod and lose to the heroes of Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

Bottom line: Ralph officially broke into awards chatter today, but studio competition should keep it from achieving gold. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Creed II Box Office Prediction

When Creed debuted three Thanksgiving weekends ago, it did so in the manner of the character who began the franchise nearly four decades prior… as an underdog. The Rocky spinoff managed to majorly defy expectations with rave reviews and even Oscar chatter for costar Sylvester Stallone in Supporting Actor. That wave of buzz resulted in a $29 million Friday to Sunday start and $42 million total for the five-day holiday weekend. The eventual gross was $109 million.

Like Rocky before it, now come the sequels with Roman numerals as Creed II premieres next week. Michael B. Jordan is back along with Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and Milo Ventimiglia (reprising his role as Balboa’s son from 2006’s Rocky Balboa). And that’s not the only blast from the past as Adonis Creed is fighting the son of Ivan Drago from 1985’s Rocky IV. That means Dolph Lundgren returns with a reported appearance from Brigitte Nielsen as well. Florian Munteanu is Drago’s spawn and other new cast members include Wood Harris and Russell Hornsby. Steven Caple, Jr. takes over directorial duties from Ryan Coogler, who moved onto a little something called Black Panther earlier this year (he does executive produce).

So how will the second round measure up? Jordan has certainly increased his visibility even more with his acclaimed villainous role in the aforementioned Panther. And part 4 of the Rocky series that this harkens back to is perhaps the most well-known sequel of the bunch.

That leads me to think II will open on an even keel with its predecessor. Yet I’m not seeing a compelling reason for it premiering much bigger. This might seem like a dull prediction, but I truly think the box office decision will match what came before. I’ll put it just a touch under.

Creed II opening weekend prediction: $26.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $41.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Ralph Breaks the Internet prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/13/ralph-breaks-the-internet-box-office-prediction/

Ralph Breaks the Internet Box Office Prediction

Disney is no stranger to debuting high-profile titles over the long Turkey Day weekend and they’re back at it again with Ralph Breaks the Internet. It’s the sequel to 2012’s WreckItRalph and brings back the vocal stylings of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, and Ed O’Neill. New actors behind the mic include Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, and Alfred Molina. Rich Moore and Phil Johnston direct.

While we’re not in Incredibles 2 territory as far as expectations, Ralph is forecasted to easily break into the top spot for the Thanksgiving holiday. The original made $49 million for its start six years ago and ended up with $189 million.

Animated sequels can and have exceeded debut earnings of their predecessors. There’s been several years for kids to watch the original repeatedly and Internet could also appeal to younger adults. As mentioned, the Mouse Factory likes this frame for their drawn efforts. On the high-end, there’s Frozen, which made $93 million over the full Wednesday to Sunday frame ($67 million traditional weekend). On the low-end is The Good Dinosaur with a $55 million five-day ($39 million three-day). Two years ago, Moana took in $82 million ($56 million Friday to Sunday). Last year it was Coco with $72 million ($50 million three-day).

So where does this fit in? I like it falling in between Disney’s output from the last two years. That means I’m estimating it slightly outshines WreckIt for the traditional weekend with upper 70s for the whole holiday.

Ralph Breaks the Internet opening weekend prediction: $53.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $78.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Creed II prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/14/creed-ii-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: November 16-18

A trio of newbies enter the marketplace in the pre-Thanksgiving weekend as J.K. Rowling’s latest wizard tale Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Mark Wahlberg family comedy Instant Family, and critically hailed ensemble heist drama Widows debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/06/fantastic-beasts-the-crimes-of-grindelwald-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/07/instant-family-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/07/widows-box-office-prediction/

There’s little doubt that Beasts will easily take its perch atop the charts, as every Rowling based pic has going back to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone seventeen years ago. I’ve got it premiering just under its predecessor Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November 2016.

After it solid start, The Grinch should drop to second place. The direct competition from Beasts could mean a drop in the low to possibly mid 40s.

The rest of the top 5 gets interesting as Bohemian Rhapsody enters its third frame and battles with the newcomers. I’ve become a bit more convinced that Family will manage to outdo Widows out of the gate. If we take the Freddie Mercury biopic down about 40%, it could slightly edge Family.

Here’s my take on the weekend’s high five:

1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Predicted Gross: $72.1 million

2. The Grinch

Predicted Gross: $38.8 million

3. Bohemian Rhapsody

Predicted Gross: $19.7 million

4. Instant Family

Predicted Gross: $19.4 million

5. Widows

Predicted Gross: $15.8 million

Box Office Results (November 911)

It was sturdy holiday greetings for The Grinch as the animated Christmas flick took in $67.5 million, a bit ahead of my $63.4 million projection. There’s plenty of competition in the pipeline, but this should still play well throughout the upcoming season.

Bohemian Rhapsody was second in its sophomore weekend at $31.2 million (I said $29.8 million). In just ten days, it’s hit the $100 million mark.

Zombie war pic Overlord opened in third with a so-so $10.2 million, chomping past my $8.2 million estimate. It wasn’t expected to be this weekend’s #2 newcomer, but that has more to do with another film coming up in the recap.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms dropped to fourth with $10 million, on pace with my $10.2 million prediction. The Disney disappointment has made $35 million in two weeks.

A Star Is Born was fifth with $8.1 million (I said $8 million) to bring its haul to $178 million.

Opening in sixth place was The Girl in the Spider’s Web with a meager $7.8 million compared to my $9.4 million take. The soft reboot of the franchise could not connect with audiences seven years following the successful The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Lastly, today we lost an icon who created many of the heroes and villains that have dominated pop culture and our 21st century cinematic universe. RIP Stan Lee and thank you.

Oscar Watch: The Grinch

Over the weekend, Illumination Entertainment’s The Grinch dominated the box office with a mid 60s debut. The animated pic continues a string of pleasing grosses for the studio that houses the lucrative Despicable Me/Minions franchise.

Could that mean The Grinch finds its way into the mix for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars? It’s doubtful. For starters, reviews have been mixed as it currently sits at 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. The race is also filling up with Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs with probable reserved spots and the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet looking to nab one. I feel that other wide release pics like Early Man and Smallfoot could also be potential contenders.

Most importantly, while Illumination produces blockbusters, that success hasn’t translated into nominations. Only Despicable Me 2 got one, with better reviewed titles like The Secret Life of Pets and other Despicable efforts left out.

Bottom line: the studio’s Grinch reward will come from its earnings and not awards ceremonies. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: On the Basis of Sex

The AFI Film Festival is underway and last night’s opening feature is the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex with Felicity Jones in the starring role. It’s been quite a cinematic year for the Supreme Court Justice, as the documentary RBG appears well positioned to land a nod in that race at the Oscars.

So will this big screen rendering of her life follow suit? On the basis of its critical reaction, the verdict is probably in the negative. While some reviews have been positive, others are more mixed and it currently stands at 60% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Best Actress is looking crowded this year and that likely leaves Jones out. The same holds true for supporting races with Armie Hammer and Kathy Bates. The latter has received some raves, but her role is said to be not much more than a cameo.

Bottom line: RBG’s chances for awards love lies most with the documentary and not this. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

J.K. Rowling’s world of wizardry is back in theaters next weekend with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s the second in a series of five planned features as it looks to conjure up huge box office dollars like predecessor Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them did.

Early reviews are out and the reaction is mixed at 56% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Not even the most acclaimed Harry Potter pics were ever considered awards contenders for major categories. However, down the line technical races are another story.

Two years ago, the first Beasts managed two Oscar nominations: Production Design and Costume Design. It won the latter. There’s no reason to think it couldn’t be a factor in both of those categories again. That said, voters could feel they’ve already honored the franchise with part 1. Visual Effects and Makeup and Hairstyling are in the realm of possibility, if unlikely.

Bottom line: the costumes especially could garner attention, but don’t expect Grindelwald to exceed (and maybe not match) the first movie.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…