Dreamworks is the first studio with an animated feature for the summer season as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie hits screens next weekend. Based on a series of well-known childrens books by Dav Pilkey, the film features the voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, and Thomas Middleditch. The screenplay comes from Nicholas Stoller, who made last year’s under performing Storks.
Underpants is certainly more of a question mark than some of the other animated tales this season – namely Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3, both of which arrive in June. That said, Dreamworks has a mostly solid history of producing hits. 2014’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman debuted to $32 million, 2015’s Home exceeded expectations with $52 million, Trolls made $46 million last fall, and The Boss Baby opened to $50 million in March, outpacing its projections.
While I don’t see this effort getting past $40 million (though it could happen), I believe a mid 30s debut is in the cards as the studio likely hopes for a sequel (based on the title).
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie opening weekend prediction: $34.7 million
The DC Cinematic Universe continues next weekend with the release of Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. spin-off of Gal Gadot’s version of the iconic character that first appeared in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Patty Jenkins, who hasn’t made a feature since directing Charlize Theron to an Oscar in 2003’s Monster, is the first female director to helm a big-budget comic book adaptation. It’s also the first of its genre to focus on a female protagonist.
In addition to Gadot’s Amazon princess, Chris Pine costars along with Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, and Danny Huston. DC is looking to replicate the smashing success that Marvel and Disney have accomplished in their series of Avengers flicks and spin-offs. The aforementioned Batman v Superman debuted in March 2016 to $166 million, which accounted for over half of its eventual $330M domestic haul. While that’s certainly a very solid gross, many critics and moviegoers weren’t blown away by what they saw. That said, Gadot’s Wonder Woman was considered to be a highlight among many.
The pic is not expected to approach BvS territory. Early estimates have been all over the map as to how it will open (anywhere from $65 to $100 million). A bright spot: word-of-mouth has been encouraging.
I believe Wonder Woman will make about half of what the Caped Crusader and Man of Steel achieved for its start over a year ago. Hopefully, fans will like what they see as they’ll only have to wait five and a half months to see the title character again in Justice League.
Wonder Woman opening weekend prediction: $82.3 million
For my Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie prediction, click here:
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and there’s two potential heavy hitters making their way to the multiplex: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth entry in the Disney franchise and Baywatch, the action comedy reboot of the 90s syndicated TV show. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Pirates should easily place first, though my prediction puts it under the debuts of the three previous series entries. Baywatch should place second barring a majorly disappointing opening.
I’m estimating that current #1 Alien: Covenant will slip to fourth with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 displaying a better hold in third. YA romance Everything, Everything should round out the top five.
And with that, here’s my holiday weekend Friday to Monday projections!
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Predicted Gross: $81.6 million
Predicted Gross: $36.4 million ($42.3 million projected Thursday to Monday debut)
3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Predicted Gross: $25.3 million (representing a drop of 24%)
4. Alien: Covenant
Predicted Gross: $19.9 million (representing a drop of 45%)
5. Everything, Everything
Predicted Gross: $6.8 million (representing a drop of 42%)
Box Office Results (May 19-21)
In a tight battle for #1, Alien: Covenant just managed to eek out a victory with $36.1 million. Despite mostly solid reviews, the sixth feature in the nearly 40 year-old franchise came in a bit on the lower end of expectations and under my $44.6M prediction.
Following close behind was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in its third frame. The Marvel hit dropped to second with $34.6 million (a tad above my $32.2M projection) for a grand total of $301 million.
Everything, Everything posted a decent third place showing with $11.7 million, right in line with my $12.3M estimate.
Snatched was fourth in its ho-hum run with $7.8 million (I said $9M) for a tally of just $33 million.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is still a bomb, but it was in the top 5 in its sophomore weekend and I didn’t predict it would be there. It grossed $7.1 million to bring its meager gross to $27 million.
I had Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul debuting in the five spot, but it was sixth with $7.1 million (just below my $8.1M estimate). This is a franchise worst debut for the series.
Will audiences be ready for Baywatch when it debuts over Memorial Day weekend?
The action/comedy is, of course, a reboot of the 90s TV show that ruled the syndication waves and improbably became one of the biggest programs across the world. This version of Baywatch has more intentional humor and it’s R rated. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron headline with Alexandra Daddario and Priyanka Chopra costarring. Seth Gordon, director of Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief, is behind the camera. And, yes, David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson are said to cameo.
Last month, Paramount moved the release date from Friday to Thursday so my estimate here is for its five-day haul over the holiday frame. Besides the brand familiarity, Baywatch‘s biggest asset is Johnson, who’s had a stellar track record as of late (he’s also been garnering publicity for apparent political aspirations in the future).
The studio is clearly going for a Jump Street vibe here. This would be fortunate to make the $57 million accomplished by 22 Jump Street in its first five days. I don’t think it will get there. Some moviegoers may be inclined to check out Jack Sparrow and the buzz here feels less substantial than for the Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill series.
I’ll predict Baywatch hits high 30s to low 40s for a second place showing behind Pirates.
Baywatch opening weekend prediction: $39.4 million (Thursday to Monday prediction)
For my Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Men Tell No Tales prediction, click here:
After a six-year hiatus, Jack Sparrow and company return Memorial Day weekend in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The Disney property represents the fifth pic in the 14 year-old franchise with Johnny Depp returning in the role that made him a global box office superpower (at least for a while). Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are new directors to the series. Costars include Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, and apparently Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley reprising their roles (they sat out the fourth edition). Even Paul McCartney is said to have a cameo!
While Disney has been printing money with their Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, and live-action animated reboots, Pirates is more of a risk. First, there’s the massive reported $320 million price tag. Then there’s the matter of Depp not being the draw he once was (tabloid fodder hasn’t helped much). It was just during the last Memorial Day weekend that the Depp/Disney combo resulted in the flop of Alice Through the Looking Glass.
And there’s genuine curiosity as to whether the franchise has run low on steam. Let’s take a trip down Sparrow’s box office memory lane, shall we?
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Opening Weekend: $46.6 million; Overall Domestic Gross: $305.4 million
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Opening Weekend: $135.6 million; Overall Domestic Gross: $423.3 million
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Opening Weekend: $114.7 million; Overall Domestic Gross: $309.4 million
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Opening Weekend: $90.1 million; Overall Domestic Gross: $241 million
As you can see, the Pirates saga hit its high mark over a decade ago and the last entry in 2011 posted the lowest total domestic earnings. I believe the days of Pirates making $100 million in a weekend are over. Even though it shouldn’t have much trouble at all placing first over the holiday weekend, I’ll predict a four-day gross in the high 70s to low 80s is most likely.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opening weekend prediction: $78.6 million (Friday to Monday estimate)
Summer 2017 keeps rolling along as three new titles populate the marketplace this weekend. They are Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant (the sixth film in the nearly 40 year-old franchise), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (the fourth film in the seven year-old franchise), and YA romance Everything, Everything. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:
As I see it, Covenant should manage a mid 40s debut. That’s under what its direct predecessor Prometheus accomplished five years ago, but it should be good enough to nab the #1 spot from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The Marvel hit should end its two-week reign atop the charts.
I’m predicting a third place showing for Everything, Everything with Snatched nabbing fourth in its sophomore frame and WimpyKid rounding out the top five. As for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, it should plummet out of the top five in its second weekend after a terrible debut (more on that below).
And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend:
1. Alien: Covenant
Predicted Gross: $44.6 million
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Predicted Gross: $32.2 million (representing a drop of 50%)
3. Everything, Everything
Predicted Gross: $12.3 million
Predicted Gross: $9 million (representing a drop of 54%)
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Predicted Gross: $8.1 million
Box Office Results (May 12-14)
As expected, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 easily dominated the box office in weekend #2 with $65.2 million, right in line with my $64.3M projection. The sequel has grossed $248 million thus far.
The Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy did just OK in second place with $19.5 million, a bit shy of my $21.1M estimate. Not a bad opening for a $42 million budget, but this is well below the $30M achieved by Schumer’s Trainwreck two summers ago.
It took until the second weekend of summer to have a flop of epic proportions and that honor belongs to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The Guy Ritchie pic took in an embarrassing $15.3 million, well under my $24.4M prediction. Considering its reported $175 million budget, Warner Bros looks to lose a lot of cash on this ill-advised investment.
Holdovers populated spots 4-6. The Fate of the Furious was fourth with $5.4 million (I said $5.7M) for a $215M total. I incorrectly had The Boss Baby in fifth, but it was sixth with $4.4 million (I said $4.9M) for an overall tally of $162M. Instead, Beauty and the Beast rounded out the top five with $4.8 million to bring its massive cume to $494M. It is currently the 8th highest domestic earner of all time.
Warner Bros. is out with a new YA flick based on a book next weekend when Everything, Everything debuts. The romance casts Amandla Stenberg (best known as Rue from The Hunger Games) who suffers from SCID, also known as “Bubble Baby Disease”. The aforementioned romantic plot involves Nick Robinson (best known as the older brother in Jurassic World). Stella Meghie directs this adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel.
I wouldn’t expect anything near The Fault in Our Stars numbers here. That said, previous genre entries have a habit of hitting double digits. Everything is out in 2800 theaters and I think it stands a fair shot at outperforming Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which is obviously going for an even younger demographic.
I’ll predict this does manage to top $10M for a third place showing this weekend.
Everything, Everything opening weekend prediction: $12.3 million
The fourth film in a franchise that’s been dormant for half a decade, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul debuts in theaters next weekend. The family comedy features an all-new cast from the three previous entries, but returns David Bowers, who directed the last two Wimpy sagas. That new cast includes Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, and Tom Everett Scott.
Based upon a series of popular kids books penned by Jeff Kinney, The Long Haul has experienced the aforementioned long layoff between projects. Let’s take a trip down Wimpy Kid‘s box office memory lane, shall we?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) – $22 million opening, $64 million overall domestic gross
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011) – $23 million opening, $52 million overall domestic gross
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012) – $14 million opening, $49 million overall domestic gross
Pretty decent numbers for the 20th Century Fox series, but you can see its stateside hauls decreased with each picture. The five-year gap won’t help, as many of the kids who flocked to see the first three are older now.
I’ll predict this opens to a sub double digits gross and likely ends up as the lowest grosser of the franchise thus far.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opening weekend prediction: $8.1 million
Five years after director Ridley Scott returned to the franchise that got his career going, he’s back behind the camera again for Alien: Covenant next weekend. This is the sixth installment in the series that Scott began 38 years ago with the beloved Alien.
That love did not quite extend to 2012’s Prometheus, which drew mixed audience and critical response. Michael Fassbender returns as android Walter with a cast including Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, reported return appearances from Noomi Repace and Guy Pearce, and James Franco apparently.
Five years ago, Prometheus opened to $51 million but its so-so buzz meant a front loaded overall gross of $126M. Reviews for Covenant have been mostly solid and it stands at 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. One encouraging sign: several critics have noted this gets the franchise back to its horror roots unlike its predecessor.
It’s also said to be a direct sequel to Prometheus and one wonders if the bad taste it left in some mouths will prevent this from topping it. I’ll predict Covenant does not reach the $50M+ achieved half a decade ago and that mid 40s seems more feasible.
Alien: Covenant opening weekend prediction: $44.6 million
For my Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Long Haul prediction, click here:
We have now entered the second weekend of summer 2017 at the box office and there’s two high-profile releases opening wide. They are: Guy Ritchie directed retelling of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched.
You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:
One things seems certain and it’s that neither of these newcomers will come close to dislodging Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 from a sophomore weekend on top (more on its opening below).
The real competition will indeed be for the runner-up spot. I expect a close race for the #2 spot, with Arthur managing to edge out Snatched.
The rest of the top five should be filled by spring holdovers The Fate of the Furious and The Boss Baby.
And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Predicted Gross: $64.3 million (representing a drop of 56%)
2. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Predicted Gross: $24.4 million
Predicted Gross: $21.1 million
4. The Fate of the Furious
Predicted Gross: $5.7 million (representing a drop of 34%)
5. The Boss Baby
Predicted Gross: $4.9 million (representing a drop of 18%)
Box Office Results (May 5-7)
The summer season got off to a solid start as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuted to $146.5 million. That’s good for the 17th largest domestic opening of all time. The Marvel/Disney sequel met, but did not exceed expectations, including my own. I had it pegged higher at $166.4M. Even though my estimate was nearly $20 million higher, this premiere still ensures more of Star-Lord and a growing Groot in the future.
Holdovers populated the rest of the top five as nothing else dared open wide against the Guardians. In second was The Fate of the Furious with $8.5 million (I said $7.7M) for an overall gross of $207M.
The Boss Baby was third with $5.9 million (a bit above my $4.8M prediction) for a $156M total.
How to Be a Latin Lover, despite a significant screen expansion, dropped pretty hard to fourth with $5.1 million (below my $6.9M forecast) for a $20M total.
Beauty and the Beast rounded out the top five with $5 million (I said $4.7M) to bring its haul to $487M.