Captive State Box Office Prediction

Originally slated to open last summer, the sci-fi alien invasion thriller Captive State touches down in theaters next weekend. Rupert Wyatt, best known for 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directs. John Goodman (no stranger to extraterrestrial beings as evidenced by 10 Cloverfield Lane) leads a cast that includes Ashton Sanders, Machine Gun Kelly, Alan Ruck, Kiki Layne, and Vera Farmiga.

The Focus Features release seems to be flying far under the radar. Many pics in this sub genre are high-profile releases with massive budgets. This comes with a price tag of only about $25 million. That was probably the catering receipt for War of the Worlds.

That said, I don’t see this recouping its minimal cost during the stateside domestic run. I’ll say this only reaches mid single digits (if it’s lucky) before it lifts off quickly to On Demand status. I’ll say it doesn’t even get there.

Captive State opening weekend prediction: $2.8 million

For my Wonder Park prediction, click here:

For my Five Feet Apart prediction, click here:

2016 Early Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing on with my first round of Oscar predictions, day two brings us to Best Supporting Actor. In both 2014 and 2015, my late August/early September initial picks yielded two out the eventual five nominees. Last year, these first picks correctly identified winner Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies.

There are plenty of contenders to list at this early stage. One of the big question marks in plenty of categories is Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a passion project and historical drama that has yet to release a trailer or announce when it’s coming out. It is assumed that it’ll be out in time for Oscar consideration. If so, Liam Neeson is likely to be a contender in this race (and maybe costar Adam Driver).

As mentioned yesterday with Kristen Stewart in Supporting Actress, Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk appears to be a potential major awards player and the beloved Steve Martin could reap the benefits with his first ever acting nod. Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, and Garrett Hedlund are also possibilities.

Michael Shannon could be under consideration for two high-profile fall entries – Jeff Nichols’ Loving or Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

Barry Jenkins’ indie African-American romantic drama Moonlight is getting attention (I predicted Naomie Harris yesterday for Supporting Actress recognition) and Mahershala Ali (known to many as Remy Danton on Netflix’s “House of Cards”) could find himself in the mix.

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is also expected to garner Oscar talk (it’ll screen for critics on the festival circuit in days) and it could feature a breakout role for singer John Legend.

And there’s many more possibilities, including Warren Beatty’s return to the silver screen in Rules Don’t Apply. There’s John Goodman’s already acclaimed work in 10 Cloverfield Lane (though the genre could make him a long shot). Or maybe a first nomination for Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins. And there’s two movies that Aaron Eckhart could find himself being considered for.

As always, the list will be updated in the weeks and months ahead, but for now…


Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

John Legend, La La Land

Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Liam Neeson, Silence

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Other Possibilities:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Kyle Chandler, Manchester by the Sea

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Billy Crudup, 20th Century Women

Robert De Niro, Hands of Stone

Vin Diesel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Adam Driver, Silence

Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This

Aaron Eckhart, Sully

Brendan Gleeson, Live by Night

John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Armie Hammer, The Birth of a Nation

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Stephen Henderson, Fences

Oscar Isaac, The Promise

Nick Offerman, The Founder

Edgar Ramirez, Gold

Michael Shannon, Loving

J.K. Simmons, La La Land

Timothy Spall, Denial

Chris Tucker, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

And there you have it! Best Actress tomorrow…

Sequelitis: A 2016 Story

Over Memorial Day weekend this year, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass opened to an abysmal $33 million over the holiday weekend, immediately making it one of the biggest bombs of 2016. How poor was that opening? It’s the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which made $116 million in its first weekend (which was a three-day frame, not a four-day one). Looking Glass will be lucky to make $80M in its entire domestic run, nearly $40M under what Wonderland earned in its premiere weekend. Ouch.

Is there an easy explanation? Did Disney take too long with the six year hiatus between franchise entries? Perhaps. Did the negative tabloid publicity surrounding star Johnny Depp hurt? Maybe.

Yet another explanation is likely part of the equation. In 2016, moviegoers have seemed to catch a case of “sequelitis” and their symptoms have been affecting box office grosses for a number of pictures already this year.

Over that same Memorial Day weekend, X-Men: Apocalypse ruled the charts with a $79 million debut. That would seem impressive, except X-Men: Days of Future Past made $110 million over the same weekend just two years earlier.

This story has repeated itself repeatedly in recent months. Ride Along 2 was expected to build on its predecessor’s opening weekend. The 2014 original cruised to a $41M opening. The sequel: $35M. When all was said and done, the first Ride made $44M more than its follow-up.

Other comedies have suffered the same fate. 2001’s Zoolander actually only made $45 million in its initial run, but became a major cult hit in subsequent years. It’s long gestating sequel would surely earn more. It didn’t. Just $28M.

2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding became the unexpected smash of that year with $241M stateside. Part 2? $59 million (to be fair, this was on the higher end of many expectations, but still just 25% of what the first Wedding did).

2014’s Neighbors? $150 million. Last month’s Neighbors: Sorority Rising? It should top out at around $60M.

Barbershop: The Next Cut will make $55 million, under the $75M and $65M of its predecessors (though still not bad).

The action crowd has showed their ambivalence. London Has Fallen earned a just OK $62 million compared to Olympus Has Fallen‘s $98M.

2014’s Divergent made $150 million. 2015’s Insurgent: $130 million. This year’s Allegiant: a troubling $66 million.

Then there’s The Huntsman Winter’s War, which may not even reach $50 million. It’s the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which made $155 million.

Just this weekend, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows took in $35 million in its debut, which is a shell of the $65 million that the first made two summers ago.

Faith based audiences propelled God’s Not Dead to a heavenly $60 million gross in 2014. Part 2? $20 million.

Kung Fu Panda 3 performed decently with $143 million, but couldn’t match part 1’s $215M or part 2’s $165M.

Seeing a trend here, folks?

There have been rare exceptions in 2016 so far. 10 Cloverfield Lane managed $72 million. Even though that’s below the $80M of Cloverfield, it’s still a solid gross and a profitable venture for its studio.

And Captain America: Civil War was widely expected to outdo the respective $176M and $259M earnings of the first two entries. This was due to it basically being The Avengers 3. It did and will top $400M domestically.

Coming this weekend: two more sequels will try to avoid the 2016 trend and both actually have a decent chance of succeeding. The Conjuring 2 is receiving positive reviews and its studio is hoping the goodwill left over from the 2013 original will propel it to similar grosses (I’m predicting it’ll make $42 million for its start, slightly above the first).

Now You See Me 2 is hoping to match the $29 million made by the 2013 original for its beginning. I’m predicting $24M.

If both of these titles come in below expectations, that may truly show that crowds are just plain sick and tired of seeing roman numerals and numbers behind titles. Looking over the remainder of the 2016 calendar, there’s a heap of sequels that could also struggle to match what came before them. They include:

The Purge: Election Year. Bridget Jones’s Baby. Underworld: Blood Wars. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Ouija 2. Bad Santa 2.

Even this month’s Independence Day: Resurgence is an iffy proposition to capitalize on the nostalgia factor from the 1996 original. It appears unlikely to match the $306M earned 20 years ago by the first one.

Next month’s Star Trek Beyond could have trouble matching the $228M made by part 2 in 2013.

Inferno, the third Tom Hanks thriller based on Dan Brown’s novels, is a question mark to match the $133M that Angels & Demons made in 2011 and certainly won’t approach The Da Vinci Code‘s $217M a decade ago.

When it comes to 2016 sequels, it might not all be bad news. Finding Dory (out June 17) shouldn’t have much trouble topping the $70M that Nemo made in 2003 (though whether it reaches its eventual gross of $380M is a mystery).

And July’s Jason Bourne should benefit from having Matt Damon return to the franchise after nine years away. It should manage to outpace the $113M made by Jeremy Renner’s The Bourne Legacy in 2012. However, could it approach the $227M earned by Damon’s last one, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum? Probably not.

Perhaps these disappointing results for so many sequels will cause studios to give us more original programming, but don’t hold your breath. Next year is already packed with follow-ups and some of them already look like they could be in trouble.

For instance, it’s probably safe to assume Disney is sweating over the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean flick, Dead Men Tell No Tales. Same goes for Lionsgate with their final Divergent pic, Ascendant.

Some of the 2017 sequels that may not have much to worry about: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Fast 8. And, of course, Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Yet given the recent trends, who knows? No one thought Alice or Huntsman or Allegiant would do that poorly and it’s contributed to a bad… and maybe badly needed downturn for sequels in 2016.


Box Office Predictions: March 25-27

Two iconic superheroes look to set an all-time March opening weekend record as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice debuts Friday, along with rom com sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

As outlined in the individual prediction on Dawn of Justice, it stands a real shot at becoming March’s biggest opener if it manages to get past the $152 million accomplished by The Hunger Games four years ago. I’m predicting that it will.

As for Greek Wedding 2, it’s the sequel to the highest earning romantic comedy in box office history. However, I believe the 14 year gap with this sequel could mean an opening in the low teens.

When it comes to holdovers, Zootopia should drop to second after 3 weeks on top while The Divergent Series: Allegiant looks to suffer a much heftier drop in its sophomore frame than Miracles from Heaven, which should capitalize on the Easter weekend. In fact, I see a genuine photo finish for the three spot between Wedding, Miracles, and Allegiant.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

  1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Predicted Gross: $166.4 million

2. Zootopia

Predicted Gross: $23.4 million

3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Predicted Gross: $13.1 million

4. The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

5. Miracles from Heaven

Predicted Gross: $10.9 million

Box Office Results (March 18-20)

Disney’s Zootopia made it three weeks in a row on top with $37.1 million, a bit higher than my $32M forecast. The smash hit animated pic has earned $200M thus far and reaching above $300M now looks to be a foregone conclusion.

The results were not so hot for The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which posted the lowest numbers by far of the franchise to date. While 2014’s Divergent premiered to $54 million and Insurgent made $52 million, Allegiant managed just $29 million compared to my $43.7M prediction. This doesn’t bode well for part two of Allegiant, out next summer.

The faith based drama Miracles from Heaven debuted in third with a sturdy $14.8 million (just under my $15.8M projection) and a five day total of $18.3 million since its Wednesday opening (I said $20.8M). As mentioned, look for this continue to perform solidly this coming Easter frame.

10 Clovefield Lane was fourth in its second weekend with $12.5 million (I said $10.1M) and its two week total is $45M. Deadpool rounded out the top five with $8 million (I was close with $7.2M) for a cume of $340M.

And that’ll do it for now, friends! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: March 18-20

Two new entries populate the multiplexes this weekend as third YA franchise entry The Divergent Series: Allegiant and faith based drama Miracles from Heaven debut. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each here:

While I have Allegiant opening below its predecessors Divergent and Insurgent, it should still manage to end the two week dominance of Zootopia atop the charts. I have Miracles posting a solid third place showing and it could play well into Easter weekend in its sophomore frame if word of mouth is strong.

As for holdovers, Disney’s Zootopia should fall to the runner up position and keep its terrific returns coming. 10 Cloverfield Lane was a hit with the critics but only received a middling B- Cinemascore grade, so I look for its second week drop to be big. Deadpool should round out the top five.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

  1. The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Predicted Gross: $43.7 million

2. Zootopia

Predicted Gross: $32 million (representing a drop of 37%)

3. Miracles from Heaven

Predicted Gross: $15.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $20.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday prediction)

4. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Predicted Gross: $10.1 million (representing a drop of 58%)

5. Deadpool

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million (representing a drop of 35%)

Box Office Results (March 11-13)

Zootopia continued to rule the box office kingdom this weekend with an even smaller than expected drop in weekend #2. The Disney animated tale, fresh off its record setting opening frame, grossed $51.3 million (outpacing my $41.6M estimate) for a $143M total.

10 Cloverfield Lane couldn’t come to close to matching its predecessor’s $40 million premiere in 2008, but managed a respectable $24.7 million (compared to my $28.3M prognosis). Considering its reported small budget, it should turn a nice profit.

London Has Fallen was third in its sophomore weekend with $10.8 million, just above my $9.9M prediction for a ten day total of $39M.

Fourth place was massive hit Deadpool with $10.8 million (a bit higher than my prediction of $9.4M) for a four week tally of $328M.

In fifth was the Tina Fey comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with $4.6 million for a ten day total of $14M. I incorrectly had it outside my top 6 predictions.

That’s because I grossly overestimated two newcomers. There was one exception: rom com The Perfect Match was sixth with $4.2 million. I said $4.1M. At least I was close on that one…

As for The Young Messiah and The Brothers Grimsby… not so much. The faith based drama Messiah opened in seventh at just $3.2 million, way below my generous $12.7M estimate. As for Sacha Baron Cohen’s critically reviled Grimsby, it fared even slightly worse in 8th place with $3.2 million compared to my generous $11.4M estimate.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: March 11-13

Four new titles debut this weekend at the box office to try and challenge Zootopia after its record breaking debut. They are: semi-sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane, Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Brothers Grimsby, Biblical drama The Young Messiah, and rom com The Perfect Match. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each here:

As I see it, Disney’s Zootopia should fairly easily control the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row, unless Cloverfield significantly exceeds my prognosis. The real battle among the newcomers could be for the #3 slot and I have Messiah slightly edging Grimsby. The number five position could be a battle between holdovers London Has Fallen and Deadpool as I believe the former will have a higher percentage dropoff than the latter. Opening on a limited number of screens, my $4.1M prediction for The Perfect Match should keep it outside the top six.

And with that, my top 6 predictions for this weekend:

  1. Zootopia

Predicted Gross: $41.6 million (representing a drop of 44%)

2. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Predicted Gross: $28.3 million

3. The Young Messiah

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

4. The Brothers Grimsby

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million

5. London Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $9.9 million (representing a drop of 54%)

6. Deadpool

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million (representing a drop of 44%)

Box Office Results (March 4-6)

Disney had a banner weekend as Zootopia had the largest traditional animation opening ever for the studio at a blazing $75 million, soaring past my meager $54.4M projection. The animal tale can also claim highest animated debut for the month of March. As mentioned, it should easily stampede its competitors and remain in first next weekend.

Action sequel London Has Fallen couldn’t match its predecessor Olympus Has Fallen‘s $30M premiere from three years ago. The badly reviewed follow-up earned $21.6 million, under my $24.6M prediction and I look for it to lose over half its audience in its sophomore frame.

Deadpool dropped to third with $16.7 million (in line with my $16.9M estimate) for an incredible tally of $311M.

Tina Fey’s so-so reviewed war comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot had a soft opening for fourth with $7.4 million, a tad below my $8.4M projection.

In fifth, box office dud Gods of Egypt took a nosedive from its dismal debut last weekend with $5.1 million (I was slightly kinder with $5.8M) for a total of $23M.

Finally, British horror offering The Other Side of the Door opened in limited fashion with only $1.2 million (compared to my $2.1M estimate) for just 16th place.

And that’ll do it for now, friends! Until next time…

10 Cloverfield Lane Box Office Prediction

Is it a sequel? Is it not a sequel? Audiences will find out next Friday when the mysterious 10 Cloverfield Lane debuts. Producer J.J. Abrams (you may have heard of him) describes the picture as a “blood relative” to 2008’s Cloverfield, the sci fi found footage monster flick which scored with audiences to the tune of a $40 million opening. Its final domestic gross was $80M.

This kind of, sort of sequel is as steeped in mystery as its predecessor was eight years ago. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman star and the effective survivalist bunker trailer and TV spots (including a Super Bowl ad) have genre lovers quite curious.

How that interest generates to its debut is a bit up in the air. As shown above, the original had a splashy opening but fell quickly (it’s not often a film’s opening weekend is responsible for half its overall take). 10 Cloverfield Lane is not expected to match what the 2008 iteration made, but it could still make a tidy sum.

My suspicion is that this will at least make half of the $40 million Cloverfield did out of the gate and could even threaten to top $30 million. I’ll predict it doesn’t quite get there and an opening in the mid to higher 20s seems more probable.

10 Cloverfield Lane opening weekend prediction: $28.3 million

For my The Brothers Grimsby prediction, click here:

For my The Young Messiah prediction, click here:

For my The Perfect Match prediction, click here: