Kidnap Box Office Prediction

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: $5.2 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

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 to mid teens with hopes of smaller drop-offs in follow-up weekends.

Detroit opening weekend prediction: $13.3 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 (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: $27.6 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)

Top Ten Summer Music Hits of 2007: A Look Back

Today on the blog, I continue on with my listing of the Top Ten Summer Hits from years past. I’ve already gone over both 1987 and 1997. If you missed those entries, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/07/top-ten-summer-music-hits-of-1987-a-look-back/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/11/top-ten-summer-music-hits-of-1997-a-look-back/

On this Throwback Thursday, we travel back a decade to 2007 to find what was burning up the charts in a summer where comedies like Knocked Up and Superbad were making us laugh, the Transformers franchise was just beginning, and Spider-Man 3 was overwhelming us with too many villains and Tobey Maguire dancing.

As I have with these posts before, I’ll rank them on my own (not exactly refined) musical scale of 1 (summer bummer) to 10 (summer fire) and let you know whether or not said song resides on my Apple Music playlist.

Let’s get to it!

10. “Make Me Better” – Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo

Brooklyn MC Fabolous starting making hits in 2001 and this Timbaland produced and string heavy track featuring Ne-Yo is one of his biggest. Timbaland always delivers good beats. It’s decent, though nothing too memorable.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

9. “Bartender” – T-Pain feat. Akon

Like many of Mr. Pain’s tracks, this is made for careless nights at the club and in that sense, it’s perfect acceptable. Like some of those nights, however, you may have forgotten it by morning.

My Rating: 6

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

8. “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5

The first single from Maroon 5’s long-awaited second album, this was actually their first #1 hit (a bit surprising considering the smashes from their debut release). It’s a catchy as heck pop concoction with Adam Levine’s fine vocals.

My Rating: 8 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

7. “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston

Jamaican artist Kingston scored a huge one hit wonder here with this reggae tinged ode to a girl he loves. The lyrics are really quite disturbing if you think about them at all, but summer songs are all about enjoying them with the top down and this pretty much delivers.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

6. “The Way I Are” by Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson

Grammatical issues aside, the second single from mega-producer Timbaland’s Shock Value album is a synth heavy standout jam. My goodness – this man was on fire in the mid 2000s.

My Rating: 8 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

5. “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” – T-Pain feat. Yung Joc

And now for the lead single from Mr. Pain’s second smash album. It’s another club anthem meant for quick consumption on a night out and it’s a notch above #9 “Bartender”.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

4. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s

The signature tune from these Illinois rockers, this track was inescapable a decade ago. The ballad’s rating here perhaps suffers from its overexposure, but it does get in your head.

My Rating: 7

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

3. “Party Like a Rockstar” by Shop Boyz

The first and only hit from these Atlanta rappers, “Rockstar” merged the sounds of hip hop and rock that first gained exposure two decades earlier with Aerosmith and Run DMC. It’s the most downloaded ringtone of 2007. It’s not “Walk This Way”, but it’s fun.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

2. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie

The fourth single off her debut album and the third #1 from it, Black Eyed Peas songstress Fergie slowed it down here with this ditty. Truthfully, it was never among my favorite tracks that were singles but maybe I just gravitated toward other hits like “London Bridge”, “Glamorous”, and “Clumsy”. Still it’s solid. By the way, if that guy Fergie is romancing in the video looks familiar – that would Milo Ventimiglia or Jack from TV’s “This Is Us”.

My Rating: 7 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

1. “Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z

Now we’re talking! One of Rihanna’s best cuts, this was actually rejected by Britney Spears. Oops. With a fine assist from Mr. Shawn Carter (who co-wrote), “Umbrella” features a towering beat and is one of the endlessly played tracks that somehow doesn’t get old. It deserves its accolades.

My Rating: 10

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

Well, that does it folks! The last ten, twenty, and thirty years of summertime hits. Next summer – get ready for 1988, 1998, and 2008. And hitting the blog within days will be reviewing the movie summers of 1987, 1997, and 2007. Stay tuned!

Atomic Blonde Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (07/23): I am revising my estimate down from my original projection to a high teens debut.

Charlize Theron is in her second high-profile action flick of 2017 as Atomic Blonde hits theaters next weekend. The Oscar winner plays an MI6 agent teamed up with James McAvoy. The spy thriller costars John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones and is directed by John Wick‘s David Leitch.

Blonde premiered this spring at the South by Southwest Festival to solid word-of-mouth and reviews have been mostly pleasing as it stands at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Theron appeared in this spring’s The Fate of the Furious and McAvoy is fresh off his blockbuster starring role in Split. 

Shot for a meager $30 million, the pic should have no trouble being a profitable venture for its studio. It could reach close to its budget in the first weekend, though I’ll estimate it falls a bit under that in the mid 20s. That may mean a debut in third place behind The Emoji Movie and the second weekend of Dunkirk, depending on how that opens on Friday.

Atomic Blonde opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million

For my The Emoji Movie prediction, click here:

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

The Emoji Movie Box Office Prediction

If nothing else, Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie will go down in film lore as having Sir Patrick Stewart provide the voice of what is commonly called the “poop emoji”. He’s one of several famous faces lending voice to those things we send on our phones all day. They include T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden, Sofia Vergara, Christina Aguilera, and Rob Riggle.

The reported $50 million budgeted 3D computer-animated comedy isn’t the first pic based on something we associate with our iPhones and droids. That would be last summer’s The Angry Birds Movie, which debuted to $38 million. I don’t see Emoji quite reaching those numbers, yet I don’t see it as low as the $23 million earned out of the gate for this summer’s Captain Underpants, another non-sequel ‘toon.

I am forecasting this will basically fall between those debuts. In doing so, it may create a serious three-way battle for box office supremacy next weekend with the premiere of Atomic Blonde and the second weekend of Dunkirk. 

The Emoji Movie opening weekend prediction: $28.4 million

For my Atomic Blonde prediction, click here:

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

Oscar Watch: Dunkirk

We are more than halfway through this grand experiment called 2017 and, thus far, there’s been no sure-fire contender for Best Picture released. There are some massive hits that’ll have their admirers calling for inclusion – Get Out, Wonder Woman, War for the Planet of the Apes, Logan. There are smaller films that stand shots – The Big Sick and The Beguiled. Truth be told, all of these titles are long shots for being nominated for the big prize with the possible exception of Sick.

However, this Friday looks to change the dynamic with the release of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. The World War II action drama had its review embargo lifted this afternoon and some of the critical reaction has been rapturous. It stands at 97% currently on Rotten Tomatoes and here’s a sampling of the praise: Entertainment Weekly calls it the best movie of the year so far. The Hollywood Reporter says it’s a masterpiece. indieWire says it’s Nolan’s greatest achievement.

Bottom line: it definitely looks as if Dunkirk will be nominated for Best Picture and that Nolan will find himself among the five in Best Director. The film could also play in a host of technical and down the line categories, including both Sound races, Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects, Original Score, and Production Design. It probably won’t receive much attention in the acting slots and maybe not even Original Screenplay (the gloriously directed action is said to do the real talking here).

If Dunkirk is among the five to ten flicks nominated, it would be Nolan’s second picture to get recognition after 2010’s Inception. As you may recall, a lot of movie lovers cried foul when 2008’s The Dark Knight didn’t end up on the short list. With Dunkirk, it represents the first release of the year that seems more destined for Oscar attention than not.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…