Everything, Everything Box Office Prediction

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

For my Alien: Covenant prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/10/alien-covenant-box-office-prediction/

For my Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/11/diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-the-long-haul-box-office-prediction/

The Autopsy of Jane Doe Movie Review

Andre Ovredal’s The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a brisk and largely effective experience that focuses on a profession not often explored in the movies: morticians. They’re the father and son team of Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin Tilden (Emile Hirsch), Virginia coroners given an unusual late night assignment.

The title character has been delivered to them after being discovered at a grisly homicide scene. Jane Doe (Olwen Catherine Kelly) is a beautiful twenty something found in the basement of a house where the crime occurred. The other victims are marked with the bloody injuries you’d come to expect. Her corpse is in pristine condition.

As the duo pry away at her body, the cause of her demise becomes even more confounding. What’s inside of Jane Doe can’t explain her outward appearance. The Tildens begin to question who or what they have lying on the slab. And that’s when the supernatural elements kick in.

The screenplay doesn’t dwell much on character development or backstory. There is a couple minutes on Tildens family history that’s not really necessary, but it’s thankfully brief. What is dwelled upon is close ups of Jane’s cold gray eyes and other cut open features. You begin to wonder when and if those eyes will blink or move. In many ways, it is Kelly’s performance that’s the most expressive and she never utters a word.

The screenplay succeeds at turning Cox and Hirsch into amateur sleuths as they go about their assignment. Cox’s Tommy is the veteran who thought he’d seen it all while Hirsch’s Austin is still his apprentice in the nearly 100 year old family business. This is a different and often original kind of detective story before the scare tactics take over the second half.

It’s the first half that succeeds the best as we wonder where this is all leading. Once we’re clued in, the explanation makes some sense (not always the case in this genre). The Autopsy of Jane Doe is also sensible in being quick and efficient with enough suspense to keep horror enthusiasts happy.

*** (out of four)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Box Office Prediction

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

For my Alien: Covenant prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/10/alien-covenant-box-office-prediction/

For my Everything, Everything prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/12/everything-everything-box-office-prediction/

Alien: Covenant Box Office Prediction

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:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/11/diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-the-long-haul-box-office-prediction/

For my Everything, Everything prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/12/everything-everything-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: May 12-14

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:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/03/king-arthur-legend-of-the-sword-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/03/snatched-box-office-prediction/

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

3. Snatched

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.

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

Movie Perfection: A Shagadelic Therapy Session

“In the spring, we’d make meat helmets.” – Dr. Evil

In this week’s example of “Where has the time gone?”, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery celebrated its 20 year anniversary. In May of 1997, this creation of Mike Myers wasn’t expected to be the cultural milestone it turned out to be and spawn endless catchphrases. The SNL alum had not capitalized on the wild success five years earlier of Wayne’s World. Myers experienced two box office disappointments in his follow-ups – So I Married An Axe Murderer (which would achieve minor cult status later) and the Wayne’s World sequel.

Not much was expected from Powers, but the James Bond spoof immediately achieved its cult status and over performed expectations by grossing $53 million domestically. That was a pleasing number, but not a total runaway hit. It took home video to expand its audience and expand its audience it did. By the time Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was released two summers later, it made $54 million… in its first weekend. Goldmember, the third installment, would make $73 million out of the gate in 2002.

Yet it’s the original from two decades past that remains the best. And in this edition of Movie Perfection, I focus on what was my favorite scene 20 years ago and remains so today. That would be the therapy session between Myers’ Dr. Evil and his son Scott (Seth Green).

This sequence finds the late Carrie Fisher as a shrink offering advice to fathers and their teenage boys. The group quickly finds the bald mastermind and nemesis of the title character has the strangest relationship with his estranged offspring. Dr. Evil is, in fact, actually trying to kill him. And Scott’s aspirations of working with animals doesn’t gel with Dad’s idea of it.

The entire scene is hilarious but it builds to an epic climax with Dr. Evil’s description of his own bizarre childhood. Burlap bags, luge lessons, webbed feet, and the laziness of chestnuts are all incorporated into an uproarious monologue that solidifies why Dr. Evil was always the greatest character in the franchise.

Carrie Fisher is pitch perfect in her cameo. It’s crazy to think her work here arrived almost exactly 20 years after her first appearance as Princess Leia and now it’s been 20 years since her participation in this fantastic sequence.

So, as we celebrate two decades since this memorable series, today’s Movie Perfection honors its best scene.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It’s all about family in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the follow-up to the wildly successful 2014 entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Three years ago, Star-Lord, Gamora and company brought a humor and irreverence to the comic book picture previously unseen at that level. Of course, we saw flashes of it with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and others, but Guardians felt fresh with its Top 40 oldies soundtrack and constantly winking screenplay.

James Gun is back as writer and director and the elements that made the predecessor successful are here again. Our second helping manages to provide enough material to admire, even if it can’t match what made the first one so special. We have a lot of subplots competing for screen time as the MCU continues to expand. The bulk of the characters here and elsewhere in Avengers world will eventually congregate and it’ll be a real test of script allocation for attention.

The attention here primarily focuses on Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his backstory. As we recall from the original, he’s got some Daddy issues and after three decades plus, he mets him in the form of Ego (Kurt Russell). Dad is a part human and part Godlike being who quickly seduces his offspring with his nifty own planet that’s a marvel itself in production design.

The other Guardians are here with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) still dealing with her super jealous sister Nebula (Karen Gillian) and unspoken chemistry with Star-Lord. Drax (Dave Bautista) reminds us that he can charmingly insult people with the best of them and a lot of that is saved for Ego’s right-hand woman Mantis (Pom Klementieff). And Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel’s vocal stylings) return to provide comic relief. The nefarious Rocket and seriously adorable Groot are certainly allotted their share of smile inducing moments. Our family drama also means the return of Yondu (Michael Rooker doing fine work under all that makeup), who raised Star-Lord.

Pratt reminds us why Guardians rocketed him into silver screen stardom and Russell, with swagger to match, is an inspired casting choice. The action sequences are of the highest caliber and I’ll give the opening battle sequence credit for incorporating recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Electric Light Orchestra.

So while Vol. 2 is totally acceptable popcorn entertainment, it didn’t leave me grinning from ear to ear like during the first one’s conclusion. Perhaps the attitude that made 2014’s pic so effective feels more familiar now (Deadpool in its own more R rated way continued that trend). Perhaps there are too many plot lines competing against themselves. And perhaps the revelations in the aforementioned familial situations are a bit predictable. That said, Vol. 2 keeps the MCU assembly line pleasantly humming along.

*** (out of four)

Oscar Watch: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The summer movie season has officially kicked off today with the release of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The sequel to the 2014 blockbuster is expected to rake in tons of dough and reviews has mostly been solid (its Rotten Tomatoes score sits at 82%).

No superhero tale has managed a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. The Dark Knight and Deadpool may have come close, but didn’t make the final cut. That certainly will not change here, but Vol. 2 could be a factor in some down the line races.

The first Guardians nabbed two nods three years ago – for Best Visual Effects and Makeup and Hairstyling. It would stand to reason that this follow-up could score nominations in both of those races once again and possibly one or two of the Sound categories. It probably won’t win any gold statues, but it could add to the variety of technical categories that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has amassed in the last few years.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Box Office Prediction

Director Guy Ritchie has, in recent years, brought back Sherlock Holmes to pleasing box office results and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to less than pleasing returns. Next weekend comes his take on another well-known character as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword debuts.

Charlie Hunnam is the title character in this adventure epic that costars Jude Law, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana. The Warner Bros production comes with a budget just north of $100 million.

The last time the legend of King Arthur was on the screen in the summer was 13 years ago and the result was a flop. Antoine Fuqua’s take that starred Clive Owen and Keira Knightley managed just a $15 million opening weekend and $51M eventual domestic gross.

Legend of the Sword should fair better, but by how much? Well, there is a considerable roadblock with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 being in its second weekend. Poor reviews won’t help. I’ll predict this gets to low to mid 20s, which could put it in a battle for second place with Snatched (though Sword is getting the edge).

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opening weekend prediction: $24.4 million

For my Snatched prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/03/snatched-box-office-prediction/

Snatched Box Office Prediction

Nearly two years after she broke through on the silver screen in a major way, Amy Schumer is back with Snatched next weekend. The action comedy teams the comedienne with Goldie Hawn, making her first film appearance in almost 15 years. This duo play a mother/daughter (which was the working title of the pic) on a vacation that goes all wrong. Jonathan Levine (who made 50/50 and The Night Before) directs and the supporting cast includes Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack, Wanda Sykes, and Christopher Meloni.

In the summer of 2015, Schumer’s Trainwreck rode a wave of great buzz to a $30 million debut and $110 million overall domestic gross. The fact that this is her follow-up should automatically get a substantial number of her fans out there. It also doesn’t hurt that Snatched is being unveiled on Mother’s Day weekend and it should serve as decent counter programming to the second weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (in which Hawn’s longtime beau Kurt Russell costars).

Even with those clear pluses, I don’t feel the anticipation for this as there was for Trainwreck. I expect Snatched to grab a high teens to low 20s beginning.

Snatched opening weekend prediction: $21.1 million

For my King Arthur: Legend of the Sword prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/03/king-arthur-legend-of-the-sword-box-office-prediction/