Oscar Watch: The Hate U Give

Nineteen year old actress Amandla Stenberg is most known for her work as Rue in the original Hunger Games and the 2017 romance Everything, Everything (she also headlined this summer’s box office flop The Darkest Minds). The Toronto Film Festival has screened The Hate U Give, George Tillman Jr.’s crime drama where Stenberg’s character witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend.

Early reviews suggest it could be a breakout role for the performer. The supporting cast includes Regina Hall, Common, and Anthony Mackie. The pic is based on last year’s YA novel by Angie Thomas. Tillman Jr. has seen many of his pics achieve financial success, such as Soul Food, Barbershop and Notorious. Awards recognition has alluded him.

Bottom line: The Hate U Give will need to get noticed by audiences in order for that recognition to have any chance. While reviews are strong, I’d say Oscar nods are a long shot and that includes Stenberg.

The film is slated for release on October 19. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Fist Fight Box Office Prediction

Ice Cube and Charlie Day headline the comedy Fist Fight, which hits theaters over Presidents Day weekend. A loose remake of the 1987 cult pic Three O’Clock High, costars include Tracy Morgan (in his first film after his auto accident), Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Mr. Cube has had his share of laugh inducing hits and franchises over the years with Barbershop, 21/22 Jump Street, and Ride Along. Day is best known for TV’s “It Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the Horrible Bosses flicks.

Fight pits Cube as a teacher challenging his fellow educator to a schoolyard brawl. With its simple concept, known stars in the genre, and really zero competition when it comes to comedies (save for Lego Batman I suppose), I’ll predict this manages a mid 20s four day debut. It could even fight for the highest opening among the two others newbies (The Great Wall, A Cure for Wellness) over the holiday weekend.

Fist Fight opening weekend prediction: $25.1 million

For my The Great Wall prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/the-great-wall-box-office-prediction/

For my A Cure for Wellness prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/a-cure-for-wellness-box-office-prediction/

Barbershop: The Next Cut Box Office Prediction

It was a good day for Ice Cube in 2002 when Barbershop debuted to $20.6 million with an eventual $75M domestic gross. It was another good day when its sequel Barbershop 2: Back in Business opened with $24.2 million and a $65M overall haul.

Twelve years later, Barbershop: The Next Cut marks the third entry in the franchise with Mr. Cube returning alongside series regulars Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, and Sean Patrick Thomas. Regina Hall, Nicki Minaj, J.B. Smoove, Tyga, and Common also join the cutting crew.

The Next Cut continues the all of a sudden hot 2016 trend of comedy sequels to pictures released early in the 21st century. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 has posted decent numbers. Zoolander – No. 2? Not so much.

My feeling is that fans of this franchise will welcome its return, even if it’s been 12 years (not counting its 2005 spin-off Beauty Shop). I believe the possibility of this over performing is significantly greater than underperforming and have it opening just below what 2004’s sequel managed.

Barbershop: The Next Cut opening weekend prediction: $23.1 million

For my The Jungle Book prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/06/the-jungle-book-box-office-prediction/

For my Criminal prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/06/criminal-box-office-prediction/