Director Guy Ritchie returns to the genre that made him known in the first place with crime comedy The Gentlemen next weekend. Matthew McConaughey headlines the pic that was already released in the United Kingdom on New Year’s Day to OK results. Costars include Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 75% with most reviewers claiming it doesn’t quite match the quality of earlier titles with similar plot themes.
Over 20 years ago, Ritchie burst onto the indie scene with his humorous gangster tale Long, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and followed it up with the successful Snatch. Later efforts in the genre like Revolver and RocknRolla failed to make a stateside impact. Over the past decade, the auteur has veered into blockbuster territory with the Sherlock Holmes franchise and last year’s massive hit Aladdin.
As for its lead, McConaughey is badly in need of a solid performer. His filmography over the past few years has been littered with bombs (Gold, The Dark Tower, White Boy Rick, Serenity, The Beach Bum).
I suspect that The Gentlemen won’t be it. That said, it should certainly make more than Revolver (which didn’t get a stateside wide release) or RocknRolla (which topped out at $5 million). My forecast has McConaughey and company just below or just topping double digits for its start. I’ll go with the former.
The Gentlemen opening weekend prediction: $9.6 million
Universal Pictures is hoping horror fans turn out next weekend for The Turning. The supernatural tale is based on the late 19th century Henry James novel The Turn of the Shrew. Floria Sigismondi, best known for her music video and TV work, directs. Mackenzie Davis and Joely Richardson star along with Finn Wolfhard (of Stranger Things and It fame) and Brooklyn Prince (from The Florida Project) as orphans with some dark secrets.
The project was originally set to film back in 2016 before production was halted and its original director and writer were fired. Over one year later, it was back on track with a new team. Will the troubled development mean troubling box office returns? My feeling is yes.
Low double digits to low teens appears most probable. It’s always worth noting that horror can over perform, but I’m not seeing it here.
The Turning opening weekend prediction: $12.2 million
Blogger’s Note (01/15): Revision time! Taking Bad Boys for Life up to $45.6 million and 1917 down a bit at $34.4 million.
The four-day MLK weekend is upon us with two high profile titles competing with 2019 holdovers. We have Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in action with Bad Boys for Life and Robert Downey Jr. headlining the family fantasy adventure Dolittle. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:
I do not see the box office battle occurring between the two newcomers. That’s because current champ 1917 is fresh off 10 Oscar nominations, great buzz, and a better than expected debut. This holiday weekend often sees holdovers experience very small drops. When you combine the Academy having just released their nominees, that bodes well for the Sam Mendes World War I epic. I’m projecting that it has a slight increase over its opening three day wide rollout.
That puts it in a dogfight with Bad Boys. I’ve got the threequel (coming nearly 25 after the original) in the high 30s and I’m giving it an ever so slight edge over the Academy contender.
Dolittle seems headed for trouble considering its reported $175 million budget. It has already premiered in overseas markets and struggled. Family audiences have had plenty to choose from lately and many may skip this one. My low to mid 20s forecast puts it at a distant third.
I do expect Just Mercy to have a slight increase despite Oscar voters ignoring it. It could feasibly vault over Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker in the five spot with Jumanji dropping from third to fourth.
And with that, my take on the frame ahead:
1. Bad Boys for Life
Predicted Gross: $45.6 million
Predicted Gross: $34.4 million
Predicted Gross: $22.3 million
4. Jumanji: The Next Level
Predicted Gross: $11.8 million
5. Just Mercy
Predicted Gross: $10.2 million
6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Predicted Gross: $9.6 million
Box Office Results (January 10-12)
It was a terrific weekend for 1917 ahead of its double digits Oscar haul Monday morning. The pic took in $37 million, topping my $31.2 million prediction. As described above, its outlook ahead looks rosy.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell to second after three weeks at #1 with $15.1 million compared to my $16.9 million estimate. The ninth official episode of the franchise stands at $478 million.
Jumanji: The Next Level was third with $14 million, under my $17 million take. Total is $257 million as it looks for a small slide this weekend.
Like a Boss with Tiffany Haddish had a muted start in fourth with $10 million. I was a bit higher at $12.4 million.
Just Mercy expanded nationwide in fifth with $9.7 million, right on target with my $9.8 million projection. With an A+ Cinemascore grade, it should play well over the next few weeks.
Little Women was sixth with $7.8 million and was unable to match my forecast of $10.3 million. The newly minted Best Picture nominee has grossed $74 million with the century mark within reach.
Finally, Kristen Stewart had her second big budget flop in a row (after Charlie’s Angels) as Underwater was seventh with $7 million. It did manage to outdo my prediction of $5.4 million.
Blogger’s Update (01/15): Revising prediction down to $22.3 million
Robert Downey Jr. can speak to animals in Dolittle, but will the film speak to family audiences when it opens next weekend? The pic takes the well known character (previously played by Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy) and places him in a pricey $175 million budgeted adventure. Stephen Gaghan, known for directing the 2005 political thriller Syriana, is the rather surprising choice for behind the camera duties. Our marvelous cinematic Iron Man leads the human cast that also includes Harry Collett, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley, and Jim Broadbent. Many familiar faces are responsible for voicing the animal cast. That list includes Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard (four Oscar winners among them!).
Dolittle was slated to be released last spring before it underwent reportedly extensive reshoots. The release of a property like this with its budget and leading man in late January is a bit curious and perhaps concerning.
Opening over the long MLK weekend, Dolittle will be in a battle for first place with Bad Boys for Life. Gauging the box office prowess of Downey is tricky nowadays since he’s pretty much only been Tony Stark over the past several years (those movies sell themselves).
Family audiences have had plenty of titles to choose from in the past month including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Spies in Disguise, and Jumanji: The Next Level. All three should bring in decent amounts of cash over the long frame. However, even with shaky buzz, Dolittle should hit mid to high 20s over the four days and north of $30 million is feasible. That puts it in second position based on my Bad Boys forecast or perhaps even third behind the second frame of 1917.
Dolittle opening weekend prediction: $22.3 million (Friday to Monday estimate)
Blogger’s Update (01/16): Better than expected reviews are pushing my estimate from $38.6 million to $45.6 million
A quarter century after the original made Will Smith an action hero, he teams again with Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life next weekend. This is the duo’s third collaboration playing cops battling European baddies and Michael Bay (who made the first two) is away from the director’s chair with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah taking over. Franchise players Joe Pantoliano and Theresa Randle are back and newcomers include Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, and Paola Nunez.
The MLK holiday frame caps off a busy few months for the Artist Formerly Known as Fresh Prince. Last summer, he had a huge hit with Aladdin. In the fall, he experienced a flop with Gemini Man and voiced the lead character in the decently performing family pic Spies in Disguise.
Back in the spring of 1995, the original Boys took in $15 million for its start with an eventual $65 million gross. Eight years later, Bad Boys II tripled that debut with $46 million with an overall tally of $138 million.
Seventeen years is a long break between entries and 2019 showed us that franchise fatigue was real in many cases. One example was Men in Black: International, which Mr. Smith steered clear from.
Mu guess is that part 3 won’t match its predecessor’s earnings and that’s even with the extra Monday due to the holiday. A decent comp could be Ride Along 2, which made $41 million over MLK four years back. That was under the $48 million that the first Ride hauled in. I’ll say Smith and Lawrence’s reported last ride hovers around the $40 million mark.
Bad Boys for Life opening weekend prediction: $45.6 million (Friday to Monday estimate)
Fresh off its surprising Best Drama win last night at the Golden Globes, World War I epic 1917 appears to have the benefit of great timing as it opens wide Friday. We have three other newcomers in the mix with the Michael B. Jordan/Jamie Foxx legal drama Just Mercy, Tiffany Haddish/Rose Byrne comedy Like a Boss, and Kristen Stewart led sci-fi horror pic Underwater. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the quartet here:
1917 has performed impressively in two weeks of limited release and the awards cred should only help. My projection last week put in the mid 20s and I’ve revised up to low 30s. That would easily put it in first, ending the three-week reign of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Both Mercy and Boss could see grosses in the low double digits to low teens. I do feel both have the potential to over perform. That said, Mercy has lacked the Oscar buzz that 1917 has and Haddish’s previous comedic starring vehicle Nobody’s Fool did so-so with $14 million for its start. As for Underwater, despite a considerable reported budget of $80 million, this looks like a massive flop. My measly $5.4 million estimate leaves it well outside the top five and marks the second costly flop for Stewart in a row after Charlie’s Angels.
There might be shades of January 2018 happening with two particular holdovers. That’s when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle experienced much smaller declines than Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the two films switched positions. I expect that to occur now with The Next Level staying in second and Skywalker falling to third (though I have it about as close as can be).
And with that, my top 6 outlook:
Predicted Gross: $31.8 million
2. Jumanji: The Next Level
Predicted Gross: $17 million
3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Predicted Gross: $16.9 million
4. Like a Boss
Predicted Gross: $12.4 million
5. Little Women
Predicted Gross: $10.3 million
6. Just Mercy
Predicted Gross: $9.8 million
Box Office Results (January 3-5)
2020 started off as 2019 closed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in first. The ninth official episode of the franchise fell over 50% to $34.5 million, right on pace with my $34.4 million prediction. The total stands at $451 million.
Jumanji: The Next Level remained second with a considerably smaller dip at $26.2 million, a bit ahead of my $23.8 million projection. It’s up to $235 million and has another week of non threatening competition until Dolittle arrives.
Little Women had a terrific sophomore hold in third with $13.6 million (I said $12.1 million). The two week tally is $60 million as it seems destined to hit the century mark.
Frozen II was fourth with $11.8 million, in range with my $11.6 million forecast. The Disney behemoth is now at $450 million.
Finally, the year’s first wide release was The Grudge. The horror reboot was a dud with critics and audiences. The latter gave it an unprecedented F Cinemascore grade. Opening in fifth and making $11.4 million, it did manage to top my $10.2 million take. And considering it only cost a reported $10 million to produce, don’t feel too bad for Sony. Based on word of mouth, I expect it to fall off a cliff next weekend.
Kristen Stewart headlines the sci-fi aquatic horror flick Underwater next weekend and the actress could be in for her second big budget flop in as many months. Directed by William Eubank, the supporting cast includes Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher, Jr., Mamoudou Athie, and T.J. Miller.
Shot in 2017, the Fox release sports a reported $80 million price tag to go with its January dumping ground release date. It seems to be generating very little buzz at all. Stewart starred in the Charlie’s Angels reboot that absolutely tanked in November. Angels started off on over 3400 screens and grossed an atrocious $8.6 million for its opening frame.
My feeling is that this won’t even hit those numbers. Underwater is slated to hit around 3000 theaters and it’s hard to imagine that wide of a release not making at least $5 million. This may test that theory, but I’ll put it just over that.
Underwater opening weekend prediction: $5.4 million