February 14-17 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (02/12): My Sonic the Hedgehog estimate has risen significantly from $38.7 million to $51.8 million

It’s a four-day weekend at the box office with four new titles premiering: video game adaptation Sonic the Hedgehog, low-budget Blumhouse horror pic Fantasy Island, romantic drama The Photograph with Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield,and the Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Will Ferrell comedic drama Downhill. You can peruse my detailed individual prediction posts on the quartet here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/06/sonic-the-hedgehog-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/06/fantasy-island-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/08/the-photograph-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/09/downhill-box-office-prediction/

Let’s start with Downhill, which screened last month at Sundance to middling reviews. With a small 1500 theater count, my $4.1 projection leaves it outside of the top five.

As for the rest of the newbie trio, I expect them to be in the high five. Sonic should easily be the leader with my high 30s forecast, dropping the underwhelming Birds of Prey (more on that below) to #2.

The Photograph has breakout potential and my low teens estimate puts it in third. I’m skeptical that Fantasy Island finishes higher than fourth in the low double digits. The five spot could be a contest between holdovers Bad Boys for Life and 1917, which could dip a bit more than I originally anticipated since it lost Best Picture to Parasite.

And with that, my take on the long weekend:

1. Sonic the Hedgehog

Predicted Gross: $51.8 million

2. Birds of Prey

Predicted Gross: $19.5 million

3. The Photograph

Predicted Gross: $17.4 million

4. Fantasy Island

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $10 million

Box Office Results (February 7-9)

As mentioned, it was a lackluster start for DC Extended Universe spin-off Birds of Prey with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character. Expected to gross around $50 million, the pic got its wings clipped with only $33 million, way under my $55.6 million prediction. Despite solid reviews, viewers weren’t as keen to see it as anticipated.

With Birds as the only new release over the weekend, holdovers all held better than I assumed. Bad Boys for Life dropped to second after three weeks in first with $12 million compared to my $9.8 million take. Total is $166 million.

1917 was third with $9.2 million, above my $7.1 million projection as it has reached $132 million thus far.

Dolittle was fourth at $6.5 million (I said $4.8 million) for $63 million overall as the flop will fail to make the century club.

Jumanji: The Next Level rounded out the top five at $5.5 million (I went with $4.5 million). The sequel is about to hit the triple century mark at $298 million.

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

Oscar Watch: Birds of Prey

Ok… here me out before you question why “Oscar Watch” and Birds of Prey are in the same post heading. The DC Extended Universe title, which debuted this weekend, is not going to garner 11 leading Oscar nods like Joker did. It is not going to earn star Margot Robbie a third nomination after 2017’s I, Tonya and 2019’s Bombshell. 

That said, critical reaction to Prey has turned out much better than expected with a current 82% Rotten Tomatoes score. On the flip side, early box office returns are undeniably disappointing. Tracking is showing this premiering in the mid 30s and that’s at least $15 million under projections.

No… the only reason this post exists is one category: Best Makeup and Hairstyling. And that’s because Ms. Robbie has been the Queen of this category recently. It all started in 2016 with Suicide Squad, of which Birds is a spin-off. In case you forgot Suicide Squad is an Academy Award winning picture, it is. Two years later, Robbie’s period piece Mary Queen of Scots received a nod and didn’t win. Tomorrow night, Bombshell is featured in the category and it’s the front runner to take it.

The Makeup and Hairstyling race expanded from 3 to 5 nominees just this year so the possibility of Birds flying to a nomination has increased. Obviously we are awfully early in 2020, but I wouldn’t bet against Margot in this particular competition. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

February 7-9 Box Office Predictions

The first full weekend of February features the Oscars on Sunday evening and an Academy nominee will certainly have the #1 picture domestically. Margot Robbie (nominated in Supporting Actress for Bombshell) headlines the only newcomer – her DC Comics spin-off Birds of Prey, featuring her demented Harley Quinn character. You can peruse my detailed prediction post here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/29/birds-of-prey-box-office-prediction/

My mid 50s estimate puts it in first by a mile. The rest of the top five should consist of holdover action fare (Bad Boys for Life and potential Best Picture winner 1917) and family friendly material (Dolittle and Jumanji: The Next Level).

Here’s how I think that top 5 will look:

1. Birds of Prey

Predicted Gross: $55.6 million

2. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

3. 1917

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

4. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

5. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

Box Office Results (January 31-February 2)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence spent a third frame at #1 as Bad Boys for Life took in $17.6 million, a bit under my $19.8 million projection. The tally is up to $148 million.

1917 was second with $9.4 million compared to my $11 million take. The multiple Oscar nominee stands at $119 million.

Dolittle was third with $7.5 million (I said $6.9 million) as the troubled production has made $55 million.

The highest newcomer of the weekend (somewhat unexpectedly) is the horror flick Gretel & Hansel, opening in fourth with $6.1 million. That’s ahead of my $5.1 million forecast.

Jumanji: The Next Level was right behind in fifth with $6 million (I went with $5.6 million) for $291 million total.

In sixth was the second outing for Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen with $5.6 million. My guess? $5.6 million! $20 million is the overall gross.

Finally, the Blake Lively thriller The Rhythm Section tanked with $2.7 million in 10th place. I was way higher at $6.5 million.

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

Birds of Prey Box Office Prediction

When Margot Robbie walks the Oscar red carpet next Sunday evening as a Supporting Actress nominee for Bombshell, she will do so as an underdog in that category. On the bright side, it’s a near certainty that she’ll be starring in the #1 film in the United States. Robbie returns as DC Comics villain Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey, her stand-alone continuation of her character first seen in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Cathy Yan directs with a supporting cast including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong, and Ewan McGregor.

Graced with the lengthy subtitle and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, the eighth pic in the DC Extended Universe is not expected to hit Suicide Squad numbers ($133 million opening weekend) or last fall’s Joker ($96.2 million). As for the latter, projections are putting it at around half that figure.

Prey should be assisted by the fact that Robbie had an impressive 2019. In addition to her Academy approved work in Bombshell, she costarred in Quentin Tarantino’s hit Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. While the official Squad sequel won’t be ready until summer of 2021, Quinn was certainly regarded as one of the original’s bright spots.

As of now, the high end of estimates puts this in the mid 50s. I’m predicting it will achieve that and could even climber higher if positive buzz develops in the coming days.

Birds of Prey opening weekend prediction: $55.6 million