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 TheCall 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 TheCall 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.
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.
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)
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:
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:
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.
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
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
Blogger’s Note (07/19/17): I’ve revised my GirlsTrip number to $27.3 million, up from $20.3 million in original post below.
A trio of newcomers hit multiplexes this weekend: Christopher Nolan’s WWII action drama Dunkirk, Luc Besson’s sci-fi spectacle Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and raunchy and critically lauded comedy Girls Trip with Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
As I see it, Dunkirk should appeal to adult moviegoers ready for something other than sequels and reboots. I have it slated to debut at #1 with a mid 40s haul and it will likely play well in subsequent weekends through the month of August.
War for the Planet of the Apes should lose over half its audience and drop to second. More on its opening below.
The real battle could be for the three-five spots. Spider-Man: Homecoming may lose a bit over 50% in weekend #3 after a larger than expected dip in its sophomore frame. I believe Girls Trip has breakout success potential. While it’s been a weak summer for comedies, Girls is garnering solid reviews and I think it opens to just over $20 million.
In my estimation, that puts the massively budgeted Valerian in fifth. It could certainly top $20 million, but my gut has it under that figure. The pic should perform better overseas.
And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend:
Predicted Gross: $44.7 million
Predicted Gross: $27.3 million
3. War for the Planet of the Apes
Predicted Gross: $23.5 million (representing a drop of 57%)
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Predicted Gross: $20.6 million (representing a drop of 53%)
5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Predicted Gross: $17.8 million
Box Office Results (July 14-16)
Critically heralded three-quel War for the Planet of the Apes dethroned Spider-Man for the top spot, earning $56.2 million. This falls under my $63.4M prediction. War played less like its predecessor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which made $72 million for its start and more like 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted with $54 million. While a decent showing, this is on the lower end of expectations for what War would accomplish.
Spider-Man: Homecoming fell a steep 61% for second with $44.2 million (I was higher at $55.2M). Spidey’s full inclusion into the MCU has amassed $207 million in its first ten days.
Despicable Me 3 held up a bit better than my projection in third with $19.3 million (I said $17M). The Dreamworks animated three-quel stands at $188 million in three weeks.
Baby Driver was fourth with $8.7 million (I said $7.8M) and its total is at $73 million. Surpassing the century mark looks within its grasp.
Kumail Nanjiani’s well reviewed romantic comedy The Big Sick expanded nationwide for a fifth place showing of $7.5 million. My prediction? $7.5 million! I would expect solid word-of-mouth will have this experiencing fairly small drops in upcoming weekends.
Wonder Woman was sixth with $6.8 million (I went with $6.1M) to bring its startling gross to $380 million. Barring some sort of totally unforeseen late summer surprise, it now appears as if Gal Gadot’s spin-off pic will be this season’s highest earner (something that was practically unthinkable just a couple of months ago).
Debuting in seventh was horror entry Wish Upon, which failed to scare up much business with just $5.4 million (I said $5.9M).
And that will do it for now folks! Until next time…
Bloggers Note (07/19/17): I have revised my number from original post below to $27.3 million as the film’s breakout potential continues to grow.
It’s been a rather rough go for comedies in the summer of 2017 as Snatched, Baywatch, Rough Night, and The House have all performed under expectations. That could change next weekend as Malcolm D. Lee’s Girls Trip may have some breakout potential.
The raunchy comedy, shot for a rather meager $28 million, stars Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith (reuniting after appearing over 20 years ago together in Set It Off) as well as Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. The quarter play a group of friends on vacation together in New Orleans. Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh, and Mike Colter are among the supporting cast.
Early reviews have been quite positive with critics noting it could be a sleeper. They’re probably right. Estimates for Girls Trip have put it around $15-$17 million for the opening weekend, but I expect word-of-mouth will push it around $20 million. That would actually put it above my estimate for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which premieres the same day.
Girls Trip opening weekend prediction: $27.3 million
Director Luc Besson has cultivated a following over the past quarter century and the devotion of his admirers will be put to the test when Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets debuts next weekend. The big-budget sci-fi pic is based on a popular French comic book series and it’s been a passion project for Besson for many years.
Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, and Rutger Hauer are among the cast in this production which reportedly cost at least $180 million to produce. Some of Besson’s works have turned into ones with devoted cult status, including 1994’s The Professional and 1997’s The Fifth Element. His last pic, 2014’s Lucy, was a box office success. However, that may have had more to do with Scarlett Johansson’s involvement fresh off The Avengers.
Critical reaction thus far has been a treat to follow. It stands at a decent 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many writers praising its visuals and sheer audacity. Yet it’s not often a picture with that high a Tomatoes score is also deemed by The Hollywood Reporter as the worst movie watching experience of the year.
Valerian is expected to and will likely do considerably better overseas than stateside. Competition on this side of the pond is significant – Dunkirk opens the same weekend, War for the Planet of the Apes will be in its sophomore weekend, and Spider-Man: Homecoming in its third.
My suspicion is that Besson’s latest could rank third among the newbies next weekend. That would be behind Dunkirk (which is a given) and Girls Trip (which is starting to look like a sleeper hit). Bottom line: the studio better bank on a pleasing European haul.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opening weekend prediction: $17.8 million
Christopher Nolan is one of the few directors whose name can bring in audiences and his box office power will be tested next weekend when Dunkirk lands in theaters. The World War II pic looks to appeal to action fans, as well as adult moviegoers looking for something beyond sequels and reboots. Reviews are embargoed until Monday, but early word of mouth is quite solid. There could be even be Oscar buzz for categories outside of the expected technical nominations it should nab.
The cast is a mix of relative unknowns (Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden) and more familiar faces (Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance). Early forecasts for its opening weekend potential have ranged everywhere from $30 million to possibly $60 million.
My feeling is that it will basically fall between that. Five of Nolan’s last six pictures have made over $45 million out of the gate (the outlier is 2006’s The Prestige). Of course, there’s the Dark Knight trilogy, which doesn’t serve as any sort of fair comparison. The better comps in the director’s filmography are 2010’s Inception and his last effort, 2014’s Interstellar. The former made $62 million and had the benefit of being Nolan’s follow-up to the phenomenon that was 2008’s The Dark Knight. The latter earned $47 million for its start.
I believe Dunkirk will experience a very similar opening to Interstellar with a great chance that it will experience smallish drop-offs in subsequent weekends and play well throughout the month of August.
Dunkirk opening weekend prediction: $44.7 million
For my Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets prediction, click here: