Box Office Predictions: December 28-30

It’s Christmas Week at the box office as the merrily confusing week officially gets underway tomorrow! We have two newbies debuting on Christmas Day with the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Holmes & Watson and Adam McKay biopic Vice starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/18/holmes-watson-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/19/vice-box-office-prediction/

As I see it, both risk not making the top five as I deduce Watson will premiere with low double digits over the traditional three-day portion of the frame with Vice under that. Returning holiday offerings often see increases in their grosses from the previous weekend. I expect that to benefit titles such as Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse, and The Mule as well as Second Act and The Grinch further down the chart.

Poppins came in below expectations this past weekend. If you’d asked me a week ago, I would’ve strongly suspected the Disney sequel would rise to top spot this weekend and knock current champ Aquaman down to second. Now, even though I expect the waterlogged superhero to have a decline in its sophomore frame, I feel it should manage to maintain the #1 position pretty easily.

As I close the box office predicting year out, let’s expand the list to my top 10 projections as I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

1. Aquaman

Predicted Gross: $53.8 million

2. Mary Poppins Returns

Predicted Gross: $26.5 million

3. Bumblebee

Predicted Gross: $21.4 million

4. SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse

Predicted Gross: $17.3 million

5. The Mule

Predicted Gross: $11.5 million

6. Holmes & Watson

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $23 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

7. Second Act

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

8. The Grinch

Predicted Gross: $7.3 million

9. Vice

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $14.8 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

10. Ralph Breaks the Internet

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

Box Office Results (December 2123)

The pre-Christmas frame saw a slew of new debuts and they nearly all came in with less than I anticipated. It’s worth noting that most of these holidays numbers are not yet final and I’ll fill in those verified grosses once they occur.

As expected, Aquaman logged the #1 spot with $68 million, under my $77.3 million. I expect the DC effort to dip in the mid 20s this coming weekend. When factoring in early preview numbers, it’s made $72.7 million thus far.

Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns opened in second with less with anticipated returns grossing $23.5 million over the weekend and $32.3 million since its Wednesday beginning. That’s quite a bit under my respective projections of $34.8 million and $52.2 million. The well-reviewed sequel will hope for leggy earnings as the weeks roll along.

Bumblebee took third with $21.6 million, premiering under my $26.2 million prediction. The Transformers prequel actually had the best critical reaction of the newcomers and also has a shot of playing well in the coming weeks.

SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse fell to fourth in its sophomore outing with $16.6 million (I was higher at $20.1 million). The acclaimed animated hero tale is up to $64 million.

Clint Eastwood’s The Mule rounded out the top five at $9.5 million (I said $10.2 million) for $35 million at press time.

Jennifer Lopez’s romantic comedy Second Act debuted in seventh place with $6.4 million. I was right there at $6.5 million.

Finally, the poorly reviewed Steve Carell drama Welcome to Marwen was a massive flop in ninth place with $2.3 million, not even matching my $3.8 million take. This is quite the costly bomb for its studio.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Vice Box Office Prediction

Three years after receiving multiple Oscar nominations for The Big Short, Adam McKay is touching hot button issues yet again with Vice. The biopic of Dick Cheney is out Christmas Day with Christian Bale in the title role. Costars include Amy Adams as wife Lynne, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Steve Carell as Don Rumsfeld, Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, Jesse Plemons, and Alison Pill.

Like The Big Short, this has been subject to awards recognition already as it led the Golden Globes in number of nominations. The embargo for reviews was up earlier this week and the Rotten Tomatoes rating is currently 67%. That’s a bit less than expected, but a Best Picture nod seems quite possible while nominations for Bale and Adams look assured.

The decision to release Vice in the competitive holiday week could limit its potential out of the gate – yet it could appeal to adult moviegoers and politicos. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday, it’s likely its first threes days of earnings could match or even exceed the traditional weekend that follows. Short took in just over $10 million in its Yuletide 2015 wide expansion. For another comp with similar subject matter, Oliver Stone’s 2008 biopic W. did the exact same number as Short. 

Considering there are six days to ponder, I’ll say $7 million for the weekend with over $7 million added from Tuesday-Thursday.

Vice opening weekend prediction: $7.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $14.8 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

For my Holmes & Watson prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/18/holmes-watson-box-office-prediction/

Holmes & Watson Box Office Prediction

If you thought Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuthing characters was a little silly, wait till you get a load of Holmes & Watson next week. The comedy casts Will Ferrell as Holmes and John C. Reilly as Watson with Etan Cohen (who worked with Ferrell in Get Hard) directs with a supporting cast including Rebecca Hall, Ralph Fiennes, Kelly Macdonald, Lauren Lapkus, and Hugh Laurie.

Ferrell and Reilly have, of course, headlined two hits from the previous decade – Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers. Ironically, the maker of both of them (Adam McKay) has Vice debuting directly against this.

Technically this is the two principles fourth collaboration since Reilly had a cameo in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. This opens Christmas Day, which means it’s out on Tuesday. Movies generally perform strangely during the holiday frame. Previous films that have opened when 12/25 falls on Tuesday can see their Tuesday-Thursday gross match or even exceed the Friday-Sunday.

I expect that to occur here with Holmes getting close to lower double digits in the latter part of its six-day. That could mean low 20s for the first week run.

Holmes & Watson opening weekend prediction: $11.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $22.3 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

For my Vice prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/19/vice-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: December 21-23

Blogger’s Note (12/18/18): Some updates as Aquaman estimate have risen and Mary Poppins Returns has dwindled a bit.

Hollywood is hoping that Yuletide cheer is spread among a host of newcomers opening this weekend. We have superhero fish tale Aquaman, Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns arriving over a half century following its classic predecessor, Transformers franchise prequel Bumblebee, Jennifer Lopez rom com Second Act, and the Robert Zemeckis drama Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carell. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/aquaman-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/10/mary-poppins-returns-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/bumblebee-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/14/second-act-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/15/welcome-to-marwen-box-office-prediction/

Expectations for Aquaman have floated upwards in recent days with decent reviews and terrific numbers overseas. It seems destined to rule the charts with a mid 70s performance and the possibility of rising even higher.

Mary Poppins Returns gets an early start on Wednesday and the runner-up spot appears to be a given. It’s also benefiting from mostly strong critical reaction and some Oscar chatter.

Speaking of critics, we were all taken aback when Bumblebee achieved its own positive buzz with a current 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (that’s better than the last four movies in the series… combined). Having the best reviews of a Transformers pic should certainly help , but competition is seriously steep and the franchise has been on the downside. I’ve got it pegged for mid 20s, but don’t be surprised if it over performs.

With Second Act estimated at $6.5 million and Welcome to Marwen (which seems DOA) at $3.8 million, that would put both of them outside the top 5. Last weekend’s top two earners Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Mule should fill out the rest of high-five.

And with that, here’s those merry projections:

1. Aquman

Predicted Gross: $77.3 million

2. Mary Poppins Returns

Predicted Gross: $34.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $52.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Bumblebee

Predicted Gross: $26.2 million

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Predicted Gross: $20.1 million

5. The Mule

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

 

Box Office Results (December 14-16)

The Spider-Man character, through seven films this century, has never failed to open at #1. The streak held as the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took in $35.3 million, not quite reaching my $43.4 million forecast. With an A+ Cinemascore grade, this should play well throughout the holiday season. I do expect a drop of just over 40% coming up considering the level of competition, but that should subside the following weekend.

Clint Eastwood’s The Mule got off to a solid start in second as a prime option for older moviegoers. The thriller took in $17.5 million and I was as close as can be with $17.6 million. Like Spidey, it may dip about 40% and then level off well in coming weekends.

The Grinch was third with $11.7 million (I said $10.8 million) to bring its total to a pleasing $239 million.

Ralph Breaks the Internet dropped to fourth after three weeks at #1 with $9.2 million, in line with my $9.7 million estimate. The Disney sequel has taken in $154 million.

Mortal Engines staked its claim for biggest flop of the year as the Peter Jackson penned sci-fi adventure stalled in fifth place with just $7.5 million. I was higher at $12.4 million. That doesn’t bode well when its reported budget was $100 million.

Finally, the PG-13 Once Upon a Deadpool failed to attract many eyeballs in 11th place with $2.6 million – under my $4.2 million prediction. The good news? The very R-rated sequel that preceded it this summer was already at about $315 million domestic.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Welcome to Marwen Box Office Prediction

It’s looking to be a rough road ahead for Welcome to Marwen, which debuts next weekend and could get lost in the holiday shuffle. It casts Steve Carell in this based on a true story drama of an assault victim who develops amnesia and develops his own fantasy world. Robert Zemeckis, the man behind Back to the Future and Forrest Gump and most recently Allied, directs. Costars include Leslie Mann, Janelle Monae, and Gwendoline Christie.

Marwen simply hasn’t managed to generate any heat. It’s been the subject of zero awards chatter and we have a slew of real Oscar contenders populating multiplexes. If it performs poorly, it would be Carell’s second dramatic flop in a row this season after Beautiful Boy.

This film is reminding me a lot of last year’s Downsizing, which also opened Christmas weekend. It also had recognizable stars, a known director, genre similarities, and precious little buzz. The result? An opening of just over $5 million. I’m putting this even lower.

Welcome to Marwen opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

For my Aquaman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/aquaman-box-office-prediction/

For my Mary Poppins Returns prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/10/mary-poppins-returns-box-office-prediction/

For my Bumblebee prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/bumblebee-box-office-prediction/

For my Second Act prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/14/second-act-box-office-prediction/

Second Act Box Office Prediction

Jennifer Lopez is back in theaters next weekend and in romantic comedy territory with Second Act. It casts the star as an unsuccessful worker granted the chance to enter the corporate world. Peter Segal, who’s been behind comedies such as Anger Management, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, Get Smart, and Grudge Match, directs. Costars include Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini, and Milo Ventimiglia. Reviews are mixed with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 57%.

Nearly four years has passed since J-Lo headlined a feature with the thriller The Boy Next Door, which debuted to nearly $15 million. It’s been 2010 since we saw her in a rom com with The BackUp Plan and it premiered to just over $12 million.

Second Act faces plenty of holiday competition and I suspect its starting numbers won’t match the aforementioned pictures. I’ll say mid to high single digits is the result.

Second Act opening weekend prediction: $6.5 million

For my Aquaman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/aquaman-box-office-prediction/

For my Mary Poppins Returns prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/10/mary-poppins-returns-box-office-prediction/

For my Bumblebee prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/bumblebee-box-office-prediction/

For my Welcome to Marwen prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/15/welcome-to-marwen-box-office-prediction/

Bumblebee Box Office Prediction

Times have changed in significant ways for the Transformers franchise that started eleven years ago. They manifest themselves with the release next weekend of Bumblebee, a prequel to the multi-billion series. For starters, Michael Bay is not in the director’s chair for the first time after making the first five. Travis Knight, most known for the acclaimed animated Kubo and the Two Strings, takes over those duties. Hailee Steinfeld headlines the 1980s set tale alongside John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, and the voice of Dylan O’Brien as the title Autobot.

A second major difference: Bumblebee is unexpectedly getting very good reviews with a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97%. Nearly every sequel since the 2007 original has been critically lambasted while still bringing in the bucks. Positive word-of-mouth should only help, but competition is fierce as the holidays approach. Two days before this debuts, Mary Poppins Returns is out and will take away family audiences. Opening directly against it is Aquaman, which will siphon away action fans.

Which brings us to point #3 – expectations have fallen for the franchise and Paramount hopes its best revenge is better than anticipated returns. This will almost surely have the smallest premiere of the series. That’s even with the caveat that four of the five Transformers pics got early jumps and opened during the middle of the week. The series showed rust in the summer of 2017 when The Last Knight had a $44 million traditional Friday to Sunday rollout and a $130 million domestic haul (by far the lowest of the quintet).

Add all that up and I’m not convinced the pleasing critical (ahem) buzz gets this beyond mid 20s considering its venerable competitors.

Bumblebee opening weekend prediction: $26.2 million

 

For my Aquaman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/aquaman-box-office-prediction/

For my Mary Poppins Returns prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/10/mary-poppins-returns-box-office-prediction/

For my Second Act prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/14/second-act-box-office-prediction/

For my Welcome to Marwen prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/15/welcome-to-marwen-box-office-prediction/

Aquaman Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (12/18/18): Update here as I’m increasing my $74.3 million estimate up to $77.3 million.

We don’t have Vincent Chase from TV’s “Entourage” starring in it as portrayed on that show years ago with James Cameron directing. Yet DC Comics hero Aquaman finally gets his stand-alone experience next weekend. Instead it’s Jason Momoa reprising his role as the waterlogged warrior after first seeing him in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. James Wan, who made the Conjuring entries and Furious 7, directs. The supporting cast includes Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicole Kidman. In a bit of irony, Julie Andrews has a voice-over while Mary Poppins Returns serves as competition over the pre-Christmas frame.

Aquaman marks the sixth DC Extended Universe feature that began in 2013 with Man of Steel. The lowest grossing opener of the series was Justice League in November of last year with $93 million. All others (Steel, BvS, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman) took in over $100 million. Forecasts and expectations aren’t as high here, but Warner Bros is certainly hoping for a sizable hit. The film opened in China last weekend to robust results. Reviews are fairly solid with a current Tomato rating of 78%.

No previous DC Universe production has premiered in the crowded holiday month of December. Direct competition comes from both Poppins (family crowd) and Bumblebee (action crowd). With Disney’s famous nanny getting a two-day jump on Wednesday, Aquaman appears in good position to grab the #1 spot.

My feeling is that it will do so with a gross in the mid 70s.

Aquaman opening weekend prediction: $77.3 million

For my Mary Poppins Returns prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/10/mary-poppins-returns-box-office-prediction/

For my Bumblebee prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/bumblebee-box-office-prediction/

For my Second Act prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/14/second-act-box-office-prediction/

For my Welcome to Marwen prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/15/welcome-to-marwen-box-office-prediction/

Mary Poppins Returns Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (12/18/18): My estimate has been revised down a bit to a low to mid 30s three-day and low to mid 50s five-day

to Arriving 54 years after its beloved predecessor and with the same awards buzz, Disney unveils Mary Poppins Returns on Wednesday next week. The musical fantasy casts Emily Blunt in the role made famous by Julie Andrews, who won an Oscar as the iconic nanny. Blunt is expected to get a nod as well. Rob Marshall, the man behind 2002 Best Picture winner Chicago and most recently Into the Woods, directs. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Angela Lansbury, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep are included in the supporting cast. So is Dick Van Dyke, as an offspring of the role he played in the original.

Though official reviews aren’t out yet, buzz from screenings has been glowing and it’s already popped up on numerous top ten lists and major Academy precursors. The Mouse Factory marketing machine is second to none and anticipation is high. Furthermore, Poppins gets a two-day jump on its Christmas weekend competition, most notably Aquaman and Bumblebee.

It’s worthy of note that many holiday offerings greatly expand their grosses on subsequent weekends and aren’t nearly as front loaded as summer pics. That is probable here as I expect Poppins to experience a long and robust run.

The Wednesday debut probably means it’ll come in second to Aquaman, which opens Friday. I have a strong hunch you’ll see at #1 eventually. One fair comp is last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It also came out on Wednesday, taking in $36 million for the traditional weekend frame and $52 million when factoring the extra two days. The key number? It legged out to $404 million domestically.

I am counting on a similar track here and estimating it manages to fly a bit higher. I’ll say this reaches high 30s to low 40s from Friday to Sunday and get high 50s with Wednesday and Thursday accounted for.

Mary Poppins Returns opening weekend prediction: $34.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $52.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Aquaman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/aquaman-box-office-prediction/

For my Bumblebee prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/11/bumblebee-box-office-prediction/

For my Second Act prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/14/second-act-box-office-prediction/

For my Welcome to Marwen prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/15/welcome-to-marwen-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: December 14-16

An onslaught of holiday offerings begin this weekend as a trio of newbies swing into multiplexes. They’re likely to populate the top 3 spots and give a jolt to a typically sleepy post Thanksgiving box office frame. We have the critically acclaimed animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Clint Eastwood’s true-life dramatic thriller The Mule, and Peter Jackson penned dystopian adventure Mortal Engines. You can peruse my detailed individual prediction posts on them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/04/spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/05/the-mule-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/06/mortal-engines-box-office-prediction/

Just as all six Spidey features have debuted at #1 over the past decade and a half plus, so shall Spider-Verse. It should do so rather easily with an estimated take in the upper 40s.

I do believe enough Eastwood fans will turn out for The Mule to be #2. It hopes to play well throughout the holiday season with adult moviegoers.

With a reported $100 million budget, Mortal Engines is shaping up to be a costly flop, though it should still manage a third place showing.

The rest of the top five should be some family leftovers and I’ll predict The Grinch manages to outdo Ralph Breaks the Internet, which has held the top spot for the past three weeks.

I also need to mention Once Upon a Deadpool, which premieres this Wednesday. As you may have read, this is a PG-13 version of this summer’s Deadpool 2 with 20 minutes of new footage. It’s slated to open on approximately 500 screens and I haven’t done an individual prediction post for it. It’s a real mystery as to how it performs, but I certainly don’t believe it will be in the top five. This could fluctuate for sure – but I’ll say it makes $4.2 million from Friday to Sunday.

And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend ahead:

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Predicted Gross: $43.4 million

2. The Mule

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million

3. Mortal Engines

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

4. The Grinch

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

5. Ralph Breaks the Internet

Predicted Gross: $9.7 million

Box Office Results (December 7-9) 

It was expected to be a quiet weekend with no new wide releases out. It certainly was as Ralph Breaks the Internet topped the charts for the third time with $16.2 million, in line with my $16.7 million estimate. The Disney sequel has amassed $140 million so far. This was only the third weekend of 2018 where the #1 pic didn’t reach $20 million and it’s certain to be the last.

The Grinch was second with $15 million (I said $14.2 million) for an overall tally of $223 million.

Creed II was third at $9.9 million – right there with my $10.1 million prediction. It’s approaching the century mark at $96 million in three weeks.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald made $6.9 million for fourth (I said $6.2 million). The wizarding world sequel’s gross is at $145 million.

Bohemian Rhapsody rounded out the top five with $6.1 million (I projected $5.9 million) for $173 million. $200 million could be in its sights if it continues to hold well.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…