Arriving smack dab in Hollywood’s version of midsummer is Ari Aster’s Midsommar next week. The horror pic is the filmmaker’s sophomore effort after his critically acclaimed debut Hereditary from last summer. Centered around a pair of couples who attend a mysterious Swedish festival that occurs every 90 years, the creepy flick stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, and Will Poulter.
Like Hereditary, Aster’s follow-up has garnered strong critical reaction with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 96%. Last June, Hereditary started off with $13.5 million with an eventual $44 million domestic gross. Reviewers liked it more than audiences did and word of mouth suggests that could apply to Midsommar.
It’s out on Wednesday to capitalize on the long July 4th holiday frame. A potential comp could be 2014’s DeliverUsFromEvil, another scary title that opened over the same weekend. Evil took in nearly $10 million for the traditional Friday to Sunday period with $15 million when adding Wednesday and Thursday. I’ll say Midsommar falls a bit under those numbers.
Midsommar opening weekend prediction: $7.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
For my Spider–Man: FarFromHome prediction, click here:
Peter Parker’s European vacation goes awry and Marvel looks to have its third massive 2019 blockbuster in a row when Spider–Man: FarFromHome opens next week over a long holiday weekend. The sequel to 2017’s Spider–Man: Homecoming finds Tom Holland returning to the title role after appearing in Avengers: InfinityWar and Avengers: Endgame in between. Jon Watts is back directing with familiar MCU faces Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and Jon Favreau among the cast. Returnees from Homecoming include Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, and Jacob Batalon. Newbies to this cinematic universe are J.B. Smoove and Jake Gyllenhaal as main villain Mysterio.
The sequel should benefit tremendously from the MCU’s hot streak. Endgame and CaptainMarvel stand as the top two grossers of the year so far. Homecoming was well received two summers ago with a $334 million domestic haul. Advance word of mouth is strong.
Spidey flicks have a history of debuting over the July 4th frame. 2004’s Spider–Man2 also had a six-day rollout and earned $180 million in that time frame. Same goes for 2012’s reboot TheAmazingSpider–Man with $137 million from Tuesday to Sunday.
FarFromHome gets underway on Tuesday and I believe earnings approaching $200 million is doable. I’ll say this manages over $100 million from the traditional Friday to Sunday frame with just under the double century mark over the holiday.
Spider-Man: Far From Home opening weekend prediction: $112.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $192.4 million
Another creepy doll looks to hit the runner-up spot while ToyStory4 stays in first place this weekend as Conjuring Cinematic Universe entry AnnabelleComesHome debuts. We also have the high concept musical comedy Yesterday out and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both newcomers here:
It seems awfully risky in the summer of 2019 to project that a sequel will come close to meeting expectations. Not even ToyStory4 managed to do that (more on that below), but that’s where I’m at by saying Annabelle will gross in the high 20s for its Friday to Sunday earnings and high 30s when taking in the Wednesday and Thursday money.
As mentioned, Pixar’s fourth pairing of Woody and Buzz should have no trouble maintaining top position. ToyStory3 dipped 46% in its sophomore frame and I look for this to lose around half its volume.
Yesterday, in my view, once had breakout potential. However, so-so reviews don’t help. My estimate for The Beatles themed pic puts it just behind Aladdin in fourth place. TheSecretLifeofPets2 may stay put in fifth as I figure the drops for Child’sPlay and MeninBlack: International will be more severe.
And with that, my top five for the weekend:
Predicted Gross: $60.3 million
Predicted Gross: $27.4 million (Friday to Sunday), $38 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
Predicted Gross: $9.7 million
Predicted Gross: $9.1 million
Predicted Gross: $5.7 million
Pixar scored yet another hit with ToyStory4. Yet the acclaimed sequel (arriving nine years after part three) unquestionably made less than anticipated at $120.9 million. While that’s $10 million over its predecessor, that’s a far cry from my $167.5 million forecast. And even if you think I was being generous, the floor for most projections was around $140 million. I wouldn’t feel too bad for Disney as they’re having a terrific year thus far.
The return of Chucky was met with ambivalence as Child’sPlay was second with $14 million compared to my $17.6 million prediction. Look for it to fade fast, especially with that other dastardly doll arriving Wednesday. The reboot only cost a reported $10 million to make so United Artists shouldn’t be too upset either.
Aladdin was third with $13.2 million (I said $13 million) and it’s up to $288 million in the coffers.
MeninBlack: International tumbled from first to fourth with $10.7 million, below my $13.1 million projection for just $52 million. This reboot, like DarkPhoenix before it, looks to come in under $100 million domestically.
TheSecretLifeofPets2 rounded out the top five with $10.2 million. I was higher at $12.6 million. The three-week tally is $117 million.
Finally, the Luc Besson action thriller Anna was a flop in ninth with $3.6 million. My prediction? $3.6 million! That almost makes up for being $40 million plus off ToyStory4! Ok maybe not…
After premiering at the Toronto Film Festival last fall, WildRose was released stateside in limited fashion this weekend. The musical drama casts Jessie Buckley as an ex con and mother of two who aspires to be a country crooner. Tom Harper directs and costars include Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo.
Reviews have been strong and the pic stands at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Special attention has especially been paid to Buckley, who is also among the cast of HBO’s huge miniseries hit Chernobyl.
Rose struggled to blossom at the box office this weekend on four screens. It’s doubtful it will post significant numbers in multiplexes. Yet there could be a sizable push for Buckley to nab a Best Actress nod (and maybe Nicole Taylor’s original screenplay). My Oscar Watch posts will continue…
Oscar winning director Danny Boyle, who clearly enjoys playing in multiple genres, tries his hand at a musical comedy next weekend with Yesterday. The high concept pic puts forth the theory that only one aspiring songwriter (Himesh Patel) rememberers The Beatles and cashes in on the world’s memory loss. Costars include Lily James, Kate McKinnon, and Ed Sheeran.
Mr. Boyle, as mentioned, has a varied filmography that includes Trainspotting and its sequel, 28DaysLater and its follow-up, Best Picture winner SlumdogMillionaire, and SteveJobs. When Yesterday premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, its so-so reception killed any potential awards chatter. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 68%.
While there’s legions of Fab Four fans out there, I don’t see this turning into a summer sleeper. I believe this will struggle to reach $10 million.
Yesterday opening weekend prediction: $9.1 million
Midsommar is director Ari Aster’s eagerly awaited follow-up to his acclaimed debut Hereditary from last year. The filmmaker stays in the horror genre for this tale of two couples visiting a mysterious Swedish festival that only occurs every 90 years. Cult like scares follow.
The pic has screened ahead of its July 5 stateside bow and critics are once again singing Aster’s praises. It stands at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, while some reviews point out audience reaction could be quite mixed (like his first effort).
This particular genre is usually ignored by Oscar voters. A groundswell of support began to gather in 2018 for Toni Collette’s lead role in Hereditary. The female lead here, Florence Pugh, has also gotten raves for her work. Yet if Collette couldn’t get in, it probably doesn’t bode well for this lead actress. Furthermore, Lupita Nyong’o could garner attention for her work earlier in 2019 for Jordan Peele’s sophomore flick Us.
Bottom line: if Hereditary couldn’t get on the Academy’s radar, don’t expect Midsommar to do so. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…
2019 has seen a number of franchises stumble hard with their sequels and reboots. Yet Warner Bros has one of the sturdiest series in recent memory with the Conjuring Cinematic Universe. Next week brings the third edition of the Annabelle entries and I don’t see fatigue among horror fans happening here.
AnnabelleComesHome marks the directorial debut of Gary Dauberman, who penned both predecessors and last fall’s spin-off TheNun. Mckenna Grace and Madison Iseman star and this time Conjuring leads Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga join the doll party.
As mentioned, this has been a mighty profitable franchise for its studio. After five pictures, the lowest opening belongs to Annabelle: Creation at $35 million two summers ago. However, it legged out better than 2014’s Annabelle ($102 million vs. $84 million). Any thought of the series dwindling was dispelled last fall when TheNun took in $53 million for the best premiere of all.
What might give this Annabelle the lowest debut yet is a matter of logistics. This one opens on Wednesday and that will certainly eat into its traditional weekend haul. I still foresee a high 20s Friday to Sunday gross and high 40s when factoring in the extra two days.
AnnabelleComesHome opening weekend prediction: $27.4 million (Friday to Sunday); $38 million (Wednesday to Sunday)