Men in Black: International Movie Review

You won’t need one of those neuralyzer doohickeys to forget Men in Black: International, which extends the rust developed from part two of the franchise on. Will Smith has moved on from this series to dealing with aliens in Netflix pics and being the man in blue in Disney remakes. Tommy Lee Jones has retired as well. So the Marvel Cinematic duo of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson from Thor: Ragnarok don the sunglasses in this reboot. Their chemistry was better with the MCU team and that movie had a funnier alien in the guise of Jeff Goldblum.

Hemsworth is the hunky Agent H, top operative at the U.K. MiB branch run by Liam Neeson’s High T. Thompson is essentially a fangirl of the super secretive force who’s been aware of their existence since childhood. She recruits herself to the suit and is assigned by Emma Thompson’s Agent O (reprising her Men in Black 3 part) to travel overseas and partner with her Thor. The plot involves stopping a nasty species that goes by the Hive. One of the baddies is an arms dealer played by Rebecca Ferguson that had an inter species love affair with H. Some of the other villains are kept secret for most of the running time, though you’ll see it coming from a galactic mile away. And there’s Kumail Nanjiani voicing the CG creation Pawny. He gets in a few mildly amusing lines.

F. Gary Gray has taken over directorial duties from Barry Sonnenfeld and he doesn’t have to top a high bar of its predecessors. 1997’s original was a fun summer blockbuster melding science fiction and comedy with genuine chemistry from the two leads. I struggle to recall anything about the first sequel. #3 was a slight improvement if only for Josh Brolin’s uncanny impression of a young Tommy Lee Jones.

I doubt many have much of an affinity for this franchise beyond what came 22 years ago. And while International does indeed trot the globe from Paris to London and Morocco and New York to Italy, it mostly feels flat.

** (out of four)

July 26-28 Box Office Predictions

Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt is the sole fresh wide release this weekend. It looks to have a strong second place showing behind the sophomore frame of the record breaking The Lion King. You can find my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/16/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-box-office-prediction/

I have Mr. Tarantino’s ninth feature just barely topping his previous traditional weekend opening earner from a decade ago, Inglourious Basterds. My original estimate put it in the mid 40s, but I’ve had a gut feeling over the weekend that it won’t quite hit $40 million.

As for the behemoth King, I see a dip in the mid 50s range that would put it in the mid 80s. That’s similar to the drop experienced by last summer’s Incredibles 2.

SpiderMan: Far From Home looks to be third with Toy Story 4 in fourth position. I look for Yesterday to vault over Crawl to remain in fifth place.

And with that, my take on the late July weekend ahead:

1. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $86.5 million

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $38.7 million

3. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $13 million

4. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

5. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

Box Office Results (July 1921)

Disney’s magical summer continued in two significant ways. The Lion King easily broke the all time July record with a roaring $191.7 million and that’s right in line with my $192.7 million projection. That captures the high mark previously set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by over $20 million.

Secondly, Avengers: Endgame took the #1 spot as the largest worldwide hit in history. At $2.7 billion, it has now edged out Avatar.

After two weeks on top, SpiderMan: Far From Home slipped to second with $21.2 million compared to my $22.4 million take. The three week tally is $319 million.

Toy Story 4 was third with $15.5 million as it elevated over my $13.2 million forecast. Total is $376 million with $400 million in its sights.

Crawl was fourth in weekend #2 with $6 million (I said $5.4 million) for $23 million in two weeks.

Yesterday rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it outside of that. The musical dramedy made $5 million for $57 million overall.

I had Aladdin holding stronger than it did at $5.5 million. It made $4 million for seventh place behind Stuber ($4.1 million). This Mouse Factory live action rendering is up to $340 million.

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

July 19-21 Box Office Predictions

Disney once again looks to dominate the box office this weekend as The Lion King stomps into theaters with SpiderMan: Far From Home and Toy Story 4 in the runner-up positions. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on the Mouse Factory’s latest live-action rendering of an animated classic here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/09/the-lion-king-box-office-prediction/

The Lion King could be poised for a top ten all-time debut and my estimate puts in at #8, behind Black Panther but just ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

SpiderMan, after two impressive weeks on top, should dip to second and lose around 50% of its volume with Toy Story 4 in third.

Crawl, after a fair opening, might experience a drop of over 50%. That could put in a battle for fourth with Aladdin. That Disney update may well return to the top five when considering its likely drive-in pairings with the weekend’s champ.

Here’s how I have the top five playing out:

1. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $192.7 million

2. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $22.4 million

3. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

4. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

5. Crawl

Predicted Gross: $5.4 million

Box Office Results (July 1214)

The MCU, as anticipated, had no trouble staying atop the charts as SpiderMan: Far From Home took in $45.3 million in its sophomore frame. That’s in line with my $43.5 million projection as the sequel now stands at $274 million.

Toy Story 4 was second with $20.9 million (I said $20.7 million) for $346 million overall.

Crawl was an interesting case study. The alligator horror flick took in $12 million for third, a bit shy of my $14.2 million take. Considering its reported $13.5 million price tag, that’s a decent result. However, Paramount made a curious choice not screening it for critics and it ended up getting solid reviews. One wonders if the studio had let word of mouth percolate, if the numbers could have been higher.

The other newcomer was the Kumail Nanjiani/Dave Bautista comedy Stuber and it stalled in fourth with just $8.2 million compared to my $10.8 million prediction.

Yesterday rounded out the top five with $6.7 million (I said $6.4 million) for $48 million total.

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

Oscar Watch: The Lion King

Disney’s live-action rendering of its 1994 classic The Lion King is out next weekend and it’s expected to make a killing at the box office. The computer generated saga from director Jon Favreau is among a quartet of Mouse Factory updates of their animated filmography out in 2019.

Reviews are out today and it’s a mixed bag. Even the majority of positive reviews essentially say it’s a carbon copy of the original. Even the majority of negative reviews seem impressed with its state of the art visuals.

The Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 59% and that’s right in range with the 57% that Aladdin received two months ago. That certainly puts this out of Best Picture range. However, I look for this to be a serious player in Visual Effects. If so, it would follow Favreau’s 2016 smash The Jungle Book and it won the award. This has a shot at following suit. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The Lion King Box Office Prediction

Disney’s live action reimagining of The Lion King roars into theaters next weekend a quarter century after the classic animated tale. Jon Favreau, who has some experience in the genre with 2016’s $364 million grosser The Jungle Book, directs. The computer animated animal epic features the voices of many recognizable faces. They include Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, and James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa.

Expectations are sky high and it’s easy to see why. The Mouse Factory has achieved massive successes in this unique sub genre and have done so very recently. This May’s Aladdin now stands at over $321 million in domestic earnings. The high water mark is from 2017 with Beauty and the Beast. It opened to $174 million and topped out at $504 million total.

The 1994 original was a phenomenon, taking in $422 million. And that was 25 years ago and would be over $800 million when adjusted for inflation. It still stands as the fourth highest grossing animated feature of all time.

Considering those gaudy numbers, The Lion King is likely to make a killing and set a new record for the studio’s remakes. $200 million is reachable in my view, but I’ll put it a bit under that.

The Lion King opening weekend prediction: $192.7 million

July 12-14 Box Office Predictions

The newcomers this weekend are a bit low key and not your weekly dose of wannabe blockbusters as the alligator horror flick Crawl and Kumail Nanjiani/Dave Bautista action comedy Stuber debut. Neither have much of a shot of bitIng into the dominance of SpiderMan: Far From Home. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/03/crawl-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/04/stuber-box-office-prediction/

Crawl hopes to snag a sizable portion of moviegoers who have recently feasted on shark tales. I think that’ll equate to low to mid teens and third place.

As for Stuber, its rather generic ad campaign and middling reviews may mean it struggles to hit teens. That likely means fourth place.

After a terrific start, Far From Home should easily hang onto first position. It’s worth noting that predecessor SpiderMan: Homecoming fell a steep 62% in its sophomore outing. While I don’t see this dipping that much, a drop of over 50% seems feasible.

Barring a surprising performance from the fresh players, Toy Story 4 will play in second with Yesterday rounding out the top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $43.6 million

2. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $20.7 million

3. Crawl

Predicted Gross: $14.2 million

4. Stuber

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

5. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $6.4 million

Box Office Results (July 57)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe ruled the long holiday weekend as SpiderMan: Far From Home kept the gravy train rolling for Disney. Since its debut on Tuesday, the sequel has made $185 million. That’s just a tad under my $190.4 million projection. For the Friday to Sunday traditional frame, it made $92.5 million. My estimate? $92.5 million!!!

Toy Story 4 was second at $33.8 million, topping my $28.9 million prediction. In ten days, the Pixar pic crossed the triple century mark at $306 million.

Yesterday displayed a sturdy hold in third with $10 million (I said $11.2 million). Total is $36 million.

Annabelle Comes Home was fourth with $9.4 million, a bit more than my $8.1 million take for $49 million overall.

I incorrectly left Aladdin outside the top five, but that’s where it was with $7.5 million. The impressive tally has risen to $320 million.

Finally, acclaimed horror entry Midsommar was sixth with $6.3 million from Friday to Sunday and $10.9 million since its Wednesday start. That’s below my respective estimates of $7.8 million and $13.2 million.

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

 

July 5-7 Box Office Predictions

The box office could use some fireworks this weekend and they should come courtesy of the MCU with tomorrow’s release of SpiderMan: Far From Home. On Wednesday, the critically acclaimed horror pic Midsommar hits the market. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/25/spider-man-far-from-home-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/26/midsommar-box-office-prediction/

Spidey will easily dominate the long holiday weekend and I have it slinging nearly $200 million over its six-day rollout with just over $90 million of that coming in the traditional Friday to Sunday frame.

As for Midsommar, I’m a bit more skeptical that a large audience will turn up. I’m putting it at low teens for the five day period with under $10 million for the regular weekend.

Toy Story 4 should relinquish the top spot and fall to second place after two weeks in first. Yesterday, after a healthy start, should continue to ride solid word of mouth and remain in third. That would vault it over Annabelle Comes Home in its sophomore outing and that demented doll sequel is likely to duke it out with Midsommar for fourth place.

And with that, my patriotic forecast for the week ahead:

1. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $92.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $190.4 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

2. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $28.9 million

3. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

4. Annabelle Comes Home

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

5. Midsommar

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (June 2830)

Toy Story 4 played again atop the charts with $59.7 million, in line with my $60.3 million prediction. The Pixar fourquel stands at $238 million after ten days of release.

Annabelle Comes Home opened in second and with a bit less than anticipated. The Conjuring Cinematic Universe entry took in $20.2 million from Friday to Sunday with $31.1 million since the Wednesday start. That’s less than its predecessors, but not too shabby considering the reported $30 million budget. I went higher with respective projections of $27.4 million and $38 million.

Yesterday had a rocking start in third at $17 million, blowing away my $9.1 million forecast. With a sturdy A- CinemaScore grade, I expect this to stick around for a while.

Aladdin reached the triple century mark ($306 million overall) and was fourth with $10.1 million (I said $9.7 million).

Finally, The Secret Life of Pets 2 held the five spot with $7.3 million compared to my $5.7 million prediction. Total is $131 million.

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