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…

2019 Midyear Oscar Report

We are officially at the midpoint of this thing called 2019 and that means a midyear Oscar report is before you today on the blog. First things first: as awards watchers already know, the bulk of the eventual nominees will come your way in the second half of the year. It will likely be festivals such as Toronto and Venice that produce their initial screenings.

We have, however, already had Cannes and Sundance producing first looks at some contenders. The most high profile is Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is out July 26 but debuted in the French Riviera. The celebrated auteur’s ninth feature immediately became a player in Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Leonardo DiCaprio (Actor), Brad Pitt (probably Supporting Actor), and Margot Robbie (Supporting Actress), as well as down the line tech races.

Cannes also served as the launching point for two contenders in the newly termed Best International Feature Film. They are Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory and Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which won the Palme d’Or. With Glory, expect lots of chatter for its star Antonio Banderas to receive his first nod in Actor.

As for other possibilities in the lead Actor derby, we have Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John in Rocketman. If Rami Malek could take home the gold last year for Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s certainly feasible that Egerton will have his supporters. Cannes also debuted  the horror pic The Lighthouse with raves for Willem Dafoe. And though it’s a reach, there could be a push for Robert Downey Jr. to garner recognition for his decade plus embodiment of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.

When it comes to Endgame, I would anticipate talk for a Picture nod, especially after Black Panther became the first comic book pic to get one last year. At this juncture, I’ll say it gets plenty of chatter and no nomination. Yet that paradigm could shift.

Sundance gave us the true life political drama The Report. That pic features both Adam Driver and Annette Bening in roles that drew acclaim. It’s out stateside in late September and is one to keep an eye on.

2019 has produced numerous female lead performances that could all be classified as dark horse contenders. The list includes Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Julianne Moore (Gloria Bell), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell), Elle Fanning (Teen Spirit), Florence Pugh (Midsommar), and Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose).

Despite its disappointing box office grosses, Olivia Wilde’s coming of age comedy Booksmart might be considered in Original Screenplay. Same goes for The Farewell ahead of its release in a couple weeks.

For Best Animated Feature, Toy Story 4 looks to be a slam dunk for a nomination and that also holds true for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Already released titles such as Missing Link and The Secret Life of Pets 2 are likely on the outside looking in.

As for documentaries, keep an eye on Apollo 11, The Biggest Little Farm, and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese. I would say Apollo is a strong contender for inclusion.

And that’s your report, ladies and gentlemen! Get ready for a whole bunch of Oscar speculation in the second half of the year…

Oscar Watch – Spider-Man: Far From Home

SpiderMan: Far From Home opens on Tuesday next week with solid reviews in its corner. With a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, many critics are calling it an improvement on its direct predecessor – 2017’s SpiderMan: Homecoming.

When it comes to Oscar’s history with the Spider-Verse over multiple features, there is past and very recent occurrences. The first two editions of Sam Raimi’s Tobey Maguire trilogy garnered nods. 2002’s SpiderMan nabbed Sound and Visual Effects nominations. Its 2004 sequel won Visual Effects, in addition to Sound nods. Since then, the four live-action features (one more with Maguire, two with Andrew Garfield, and Homecoming) received no awards love. However, last year’s animated and acclaimed SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse was the winner of Best Animated Feature.

Far From Home is, of course, part of the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the studio pushes for Oscar votes, their attention in 2019 is likely to focus on Avengers: Endgame. So even with sturdy critical reaction, I would anticipate this being the fifth non-animated Spidey pic in a row to go empty handed. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Spider-Man: Far From Home Box Office Prediction

Peter Parker’s European vacation goes awry and Marvel looks to have its third massive 2019 blockbuster in a row when SpiderMan: Far From Home opens next week over a long holiday weekend. The sequel to 2017’s SpiderMan: Homecoming finds Tom Holland returning to the title role after appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in between. Jon Watts is back directing with familiar MCU faces Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and Jon Favreau among the cast. Returnees from Homecoming include Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, and Jacob Batalon. Newbies to this cinematic universe are J.B. Smoove and Jake Gyllenhaal as main villain Mysterio.

The sequel should benefit tremendously from the MCU’s hot streak. Endgame and Captain  Marvel stand as the top two grossers of the year so far. Homecoming was well received two summers ago with a $334 million domestic haul. Advance word of mouth is strong.

Spidey flicks have a history of debuting over the July 4th frame. 2004’s SpiderMan 2 also had a six-day rollout and earned $180 million in that time frame. Same goes for 2012’s reboot The Amazing SpiderMan with $137 million from Tuesday to Sunday.

Far From Home gets underway on Tuesday and I believe earnings approaching $200 million is doable. I’ll say this manages a bit under $100 million from the traditional Friday to Sunday frame with just under the double century mark over the holiday.

Spider-Man: Far From Home opening weekend prediction: $92.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $190.4 million

For my Midsommar prediction, click here:

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

Men in Black: International Box Office Prediction

The Men in Black are back onscreen for the first time in seven years, but they look a lot different this time around. Subtitled International, this is a sequel/reboot of the franchise that ruled the summer 22 years ago. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are nowhere to be found. Instead it’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in the lead roles with F. Gary Gray taking over directorial duties from Barry Sonnenfeld. The supporting cast includes Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Liam Neeson, and Emma Thompson (reprising her role from 2012’s MIB3).

Despite its two stars being part of this season’s behemoth Avengers: Endgame, audiences might be skeptical to revisit a two decade old series that they identified with Smith (currently headlining the hit Aladdin). Comparing the opening grosses of the MIB trilogy that preceded it is tricky. All three opened over holiday weekends with the first two over July 4th and the third over Memorial Day weekend. Their traditional Friday to Sunday grosses were consistent in the low to mid 50s. When factoring in the extra holiday additions, parts one and two got into the 80s with #3 nearing $70 million. It’s worth mentioning that each entry earned less domestically overall than the previous one.

Men in Black: International, holiday or no holiday, looks bound for the lowest premiere yet in the franchise. I’ll say low 30s.

Men in Black: International opening weekend prediction: $30.7 million

For my Shaft prediction, click here:

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

For my Late Night prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/__trashed/

For my The Dead Don’t Die prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/the-dead-dont-die-box-office-prediction/

May 31-June 2 Box Office Predictions

After a sizzling debut over the long Memorial Day weekend, Aladdin could slip to third as two heavy hitters join the fray: monster sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters and critically lauded Elton John biopic Rocketman. We also have low budget Blumhouse horror pic Ma with Octavia Spencer that has breakout potential. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of the newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/23/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/23/rocketman-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/24/ma-box-office-prediction/

Godzilla should manage to stomp the competition, but I do have it coming in lower than its 2014 predecessor and just under what 2017’s Kong: Skull Island achieved. As for Rocketman, there’s Oscar nod buzz for star Taron Egerton and the genre heat from last fall’s smash Bohemian Rhapsody. I have it debuting with about $15 million less than the Queen flick, but that still means mid 30s.

As for Ma, I have it over tripling its puny $5 million budget for fourth place. Aladdin may experience a mid 50s dip after ruling the holiday and John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum should round out the top five.

And with that, my forecast for the weekend:

1. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Predicted Gross: $58.7 million

2. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $40.3 million

3. Rocketman

Predicted Gross: $36.1 million

4. Ma

Predicted Gross: $17.2 million

5. John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

Box Office Results (May 2427)

Despite a poorly received first trailer and questions about its potency with audiences, Disney’s Aladdin exceeded all expectations and granted the studio’s money-making wishes with $116.8 million. That blew away my $74.8 million estimate.

John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum dropped to second with $30.9 million over the four-day, topping my $27 million take. The Keanu Reeves action sequel is already at $107 million in two weeks and has the set the franchise record domestically.

Avengers: Endgame was third with $22 million (I said $22.5 million), hitting an astonishing $803 million.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu was fourth with $17.2 million compared to my $16.4 million projection and $120 million thus far.

All newbies without a blue genie struggled. Horror superhero tale Brightburn was fifth with $9.6 million. I was right on target at $9.7 million. Acclaimed high school comedy Booksmart was sixth with $8.7 million. Again, I was on the money with an $8.6 million prediction.

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

May 24-27 Box Office Predictions

It’s Memorial Day at the box office with Disney looking to dominate the four-day holiday weekend with their live-action rendering of Aladdin starring Will Smith. We also have the superhero horror flick Brightburn and critically acclaimed high school comedy Booksmart. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/14/aladdin-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/15/brightburn-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/17/booksmart-box-office-prediction/

There’s little doubt that the Fresh Prince’s genie will open at #1. How much it makes is very much in question. My mid 70s forecast is toward the lower end of estimates. While it’s always risky to underestimate the vaunted Mouse Factory marketing machine, they’ve already had one under performer weeks ago with Dumbo and reaction to this particular remake seems mixed.

Slots 2-4 are likely to be held by holdovers and that starts with John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum after its dynamite debut (more on that below). Its gross is probably a bit front loaded, so a dip over 50% wouldn’t be surprising.

On the other hand, Avengers: Endgame should follow the path of other MCU titles that premiered in late April or early May with a minor drop in the 20s. I have Pokemon Detective Pikachu slated for a mid 30s subtraction.

As for the newcomers, both have breakout potential but I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on either exceeding expectations. Brightburn should fare a bit better than Booksmart, if for no other reason than its higher screen count.

And with that, a top 6 take on my Friday to Monday predictions:

1. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $74.8 million

2. John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum

Predicted Gross: $27 million

3. Avengers: Endgame

Predicted Gross: $22.5 million

4. Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

5. Brightburn

Predicted Gross: $9.7 million

6. Booksmart

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million

Box Office Results (May 1719)

John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum sped to a terrific start and zoomed past most projections, including mine. The Keanu Reeves sequel made $56.8 million compared to my $45.8 million estimate. That sets the franchise record by over $25 million and is good for Mr. Reeves second largest opening ever behind The Matrix Reloaded.

Avengers: Endgame dropped to second after three weeks on top with $29.9 million, in line with my $28.5 million prediction. The massive tally is at $771 million.

In its sophomore outing, Pokemon Detective Pikachu was third with $25.1 million. I was right there at $25.2 million as it approaches the century mark with $94 million.

A Dog’s Journey flopped with just $8 million in fourth compared to my $11.8 million projection. That’s less than half of what predecessor A Dog’s Purpose achieved. Woof.

The Hustle rounded out the top five with $6.1 million (I said $7.1 million) for $23 million overall.

Finally, YA romance The Sun Is Also a Star had a dim start in eighth with just $2.5 million. I went higher at $5.5 million.

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