September 4-7 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (09/02): On the eve of its premiere, I am upping my four and five day estimates for Tenet up to $30.3M and $36.9M, respectively.
It is quite safe to assume that Labor Day weekend has never been the most interesting box office frame before in a calendar year. Traditionally it’s a slow one when studios don’t bother to put out potential hits as the blockbusters of summer wind down and companies ready their fall product.

2020 has upended all of that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is by far the highest profile release this holiday weekend has ever witnessed. After a delay from July, the twisty thriller with John David Washington and Robert Pattinson is finally set to invade IMAX and regular screens on Thursday (with previews slated throughout this week). You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/25/tenet-box-office-prediction/

Tenet rolled out in numerous international markets (as well as our neighbor to the north) this past weekend and it blew away expectations with $53 million. That bodes quite well for its U.S. bow this week. A four-day weekend in the mid to high 20s is my best guesstimate with upwards of $30 million when factoring in the Thursday tally. And if this projection changes, I have a feeling it will go up.

This juggernaut will easily rule the weekend. In fact, based on minimal competition in September, it will probably be #1 for the entire month. As for current holdovers, The New Mutants should dip to 2nd with Unhinged in third position. I expect the sophomore dip for Mutants to be more pronounced than that of Unhinged. 

And with that, I am moving from a top 2 predictions last weekend to a whole top 3 as the box office comeback kicks into high gear for September! All estimates are for the four-day long frame unless otherwise indicated.

1. Tenet

Predicted Gross: $30.3 million (Friday to Monday prediction); $36.9 million (Thursday to Monday)

2. The New Mutants

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

3. Unhinged 

Predicted Gross: $1.8 million

Box Office Results (August 28-30)

Fox’s long-delayed and critically drubbed The New Mutants was a trouble production well before anyone knew what the coronavirus was. Originally set for 2018, this title in the X-Men Universe finally limped into theaters. That said, considering the circumstances, its performance was right at about the significantly lowered expectations at $7 million. I said $6.9 million.

Unhinged dropped to second with $2.6 million and that’s on pace with my $2.8 million estimate. The Russell Crowe road rage pic has taken in $8.8 million in two weeks.

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

Box Office Predictions: August 28-30

***Blogger’s Note (08/27/20): My prediction for Mutants is up from $4.9M to $6.9M

For the first Monday in nearly six months, I have meaningful box office predictions and results to report! As the movie watching world is aware, upstart Solstice Studios was first out of the gate with a wide theatrical release over the weekend. Russell Crowe’s Unhinged was the test case. The results are pretty encouraging as the thriller took in $4 million on just north of 1800 screens.

This is a tad below my $4.6 million projection, but it’s a sign that audiences are at least amenable to returning to multiplexes. We don’t have to wait long until the next experiment. It comes this weekend with The New Mutants, which was originally slated to hit screens in 2018. The latest title in the X-Men franchise has a troubled past and Fox (now owned by Disney) doesn’t seem to have much confidence with it. My detailed prediction post on Mutants can be found here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/19/the-new-mutants-box-office-prediction/

As you can see, I question whether it can make over $5 million. I think lots of casual filmgoers aren’t even aware it exists in the same universe as Wolverine, Mystique, Professor X, and Magneto.

For the second weekend of Unhinged, I anticipate a smallish drop-off percentage wise. We have witnessed this in other territories as patrons are taking their time to sample the new product in a COVID-19 world. I’ll say a 31% dip sounds about right.

It will take an undetermined amount of time before my weekend predictions look like they did pre-COVID. Yet they’re back and here’s how I foresee the top two this weekend:

1. The New Mutants

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

2. Unhinged

Predicted Gross: $2.8 million

March 13-15 Box Office Predictions

Uncertainty at the box office persists this weekend as three new titles open in wide release: the faith-based drama I Still Believe, comic book based Vin Diesel action pic Bloodshot, and Blumhouse thriller The Hunt. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the trio here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/03/03/i-still-believe-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/03/04/bloodshot-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/03/05/the-hunt-box-office-prediction/

Pixar’s Onward should manage a second frame atop the charts. However, a drop of close to 50% could occur and that would mean high teens or low 20s. Of the newcomers, I Still Believe looks poised for runner-up status as its core Christian audience should turn out (similar to 2018’s I Can Only Imagine).

As for Bloodshot and The Hunt, I question whether they can reach double digits and there could be a battle in the 3-5 slots between them and holdover The Invisible Man. The uncertainty I speak of is, of course, due to current events. The Coronavirus impact on the moviegoing public is playing out as we speak and is certainly a factor to consider with estimates.

And with that, my top 5 take:

1. Onward

Predicted Gross: $19.8 million

2. I Still Believe

Predicted Gross: $14.6 million

3. Bloodshot

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

4. The Invisible Man

Predicted Gross: $8 million

5. The Hunt

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million

Box Office Results (March 6-8)

One doesn’t expect Pixar to have an underwhelming start at multiplexes, but that’s precisely what happened with Onward. Its $39.1 million premiere marks the weakest wide rollout in the studio’s modern era. It’s well under my $54.3 million estimate. Reviews that weren’t as gushing as their other titles may have contributed, in addition to previously mentioned outside factors.

The Invisible Man dropped to second with $15.1 million, a bit under my $17.2 million projection. The two-week total is $52 million against the minor $7 million budget.

Sports drama The Way Back with Ben Affleck opened in third and right in line with expectations with $8.1 million (I said $8.3 million).

Family fare filled the rest of the top 5 as Sonic the Hedgehog was fourth at $7.7 million compared to my $9 million take for $140 million overall. The Call of the Wild was fifth with $6.7 million (I said $7.1 million) for $57 million at press time.

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

March 6-8 Box Office Predictions

March ushers in two new releases with Pixar’s Onward featuring the vocal stylings of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt and the sports drama The Way Back with Ben Affleck. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/27/onward-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/27/the-way-back-box-office-prediction/

The latest Pixar adventure is the first to be released outside of the summer or winter frames. This lends to some uncertainty about the opening range. Reviews are sturdy, but with many critics saying it’s not quite up to the level of their classics. Onward isn’t anticipated to hit the highest levels of the studio’s debuts either, but upwards of $50 million is still likely.

The Way Back could struggle to find an audience. I will say there’s a chance this could over perform with adult audiences and sports fans as Mr. Affleck has been making the rounds on ESPN and similar platforms. However, the probable scenario is a gross under double digits.

As for holdovers, The Invisible Man finally broke the 2020 horror glut and was quite visible with genre fans (more on that below). With solid word-of-mouth, this could avoid the hefty sophomore drop-offs that many scary pics experience (especially with no real competition for its audience). I’m predicting a slide of only around 40% and an easy runner-up showing.

Sonic the Hedgehog and The Call of the Wild should each dip in the mid 40s with the newly arrived Pixar competition. And with that, my top 5 take:

1. Onward

Predicted Gross: $54.3 million

2. The Invisible Man

Predicted Gross: $17.2 million

3. Sonic the Hedgehog

Predicted Gross: $9 million

4. The Way Back

Predicted Gross: $8.3 million

5. The Call of the Wild

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

Box Office Results (February 28-March 1)

As mentioned, we have seen a string of horror genre disappointments this year. Blumhouse changed that dynamic as The Invisible Man, coming off fine reviews, took in $28.2 million. While that didn’t match my $33.8 million estimate, the start quadruples its measly $7 million budget and I expect a healthy run ahead.

Sonic the Hedgehog was second with $16.2 million, a bit above my $14.9 million projection. In three weeks, the Sega based hit stands at $128 million.

The Call of the Wild placed third in its second outing with $13.3 million, a tad under my $14.5 million forecast. Tally is $46 million.

The anime superhero flick My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising expanded wide and was fourth with $5.7 million ($9.1 million overall). I incorrectly had it outside the top five.

The five spot belonged to Bad Boys for Life at $4.3 million (I said $3.6 million) as the sequel nears the double century mark with $197 million.

Birds of Prey was sixth with $4.1 million compared to my $3.2 million take. It’s made $78 million.

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

February 28-March 1 Box Office Predictions

As February ends and March begins at the box office, we have one new wide release out this weekend. Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man with Elisabeth Moss hopes to reverse the 2020 trend of horror pics posting unimpressive grosses. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/19/the-invisible-man-box-office-prediction/

With impressive early word-of-mouth, I’m estimating that Invisible will be quite visible to genre fans and easily top the charts with a low to mid 30s haul. If that occurs, it will more than quadruple its measly $7 million budget out of the gate.

The battle for #2 should be closer with holdovers Sonic the Hedgehog and The Call of the Wild, which exceeded expectations in its start (more on that below). I’ll give Sonic a slight edge. The rest of the top five should consist of returnees Bad Boys for Life and Birds of Prey. And with that, my take on the frame ahead:

1. The Invisible Man

Predicted Gross: $33.8 million

2. Sonic the Hedgehog

Predicted Gross: $14.9 million

3. The Call of the Wild

Predicted Gross: $14.5 million

4. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

5. Birds of Prey

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

Box Office Results (February 21-23)

Sonic the Hedgehog was expected to easily repeat at #1 in its sophomore outing. However, the Sega based action comedy just held onto the top spot at $26.1 million (a bit under my $30.2 million projection). The film has still outperformed estimates as it stands at $106 million after ten days.

The close call came at the hands of The Call of the Wild. Harrison Ford and his CGI hound was second and debuted well at the top of its range with $24.7 million. I was much lower at $14.6 million. The downside? Call has a reported budget of $125 million.

Birds of Prey was third with $6.8 million compared to my $7.9 million estimate. In three weeks, the disappointing DC flick is at $72 million.

Bad Boys for Life was fourth at $5.8 million (I said $6.5 million) as it nears the double century mark with $191 million.

Finally, Brahms: The Boy II was fifth and also made $5.8 million. The sequel is another example of horror fans tuning out this year. My forecast of $5.5 million was on target.

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

February 21-23 Box Office Predictions

After a fantastic opening over the long weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog looks to fend off two new challengers: Harrison Ford and his CGI dog in The Call of the Wild and horror sequel Brahms: The Boy II with Katie Holmes. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/12/the-call-of-the-wild-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/02/13/brahms-the-boy-ii-box-office-prediction/

Sonic might lose about half its Friday to Sunday premiere audience, but that should be enough to easily top the charts for the second frame in a row. The runner-up position should go to Wild, but with a muted low teens start. Birds of Prey is likely to fall from second position to third.

I haven’t seen much anticipation for the return of Brahms and have it in fifth place. My guess is that the drop for Bad Boys for Life should be less than the sophomore frame falls of Fantasy Island and The Photograph. I look for both of them to fall out of the top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Sonic the Hedgehog

Predicted Gross: $30.2 million

2. The Call of the Wild

Predicted Gross: $14.6 million

3. Birds of Prey

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

4. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million

5. Brahms: The Boy II

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

Box Office Results (February 14-17)

Topping Detective Pikachu for the all-time best video game adapted debut, Sonic the Hedgehog opened at the very highest end of expectations over the Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day frame. From Friday to Monday, the Jim Carrey led pic took in $70 million and that blasted past my meager $51.8 million projection. As mentioned above, it should repeat in first this weekend.

Birds of Prey was second with $19.7 million, on target with my $19.5 million estimate. Its unimpressive two-week tally is $61 million as it should struggle to reach the century mark.

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island was third at $13.7 million, which isn’t bad considering its low budget. I was a tad lower at $11.6 million. Look for it to fade quickly.

Romantic drama The Photograph was fourth and came in at the low end of its range with $13.2 million. I gave it more credit with a $17.4 million projection. My suspicion is that this Photograph fades fast as well.

Rounding out the top five was Bad Boys for Life with $13.1 million with a strong hold and well ahead of my $10 million estimate. The threequel is up to $183 million.

Finally, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Will Ferrell sputtered in 10th with $5.1 million. It did post slightly ahead of my $4.1 million forecast.

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

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…

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…

January 31-February 2 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/29): Revising my The Rhythm Section projection from $8 million down to $6.5 million and that means I’m taking it from 3rd to 4th place

Super Bowl weekend at the box office is usually a sluggish one and this year should be no different. Two titles premiere with the Blake Lively spy thriller The Rhythm Section and Brothers Grimm horror reimagining Gretel & Hansel. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/23/the-rhythm-section-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/23/gretel-hansel-box-office-prediction/

Let’s start with Gretel & Hansel. It’s been a rough year already for horror flicks (see The Turning below) and I don’t expect this to change that. My $5.1 million estimate puts it outside of the top five.

As for Rhythm, I believe it will fail to reach double digits and that probably means a third place showing behind two-week champ Bad Boys for Life and Oscar front runner 1917. In its third frame, the disappointing Dolittle should drop to fourth and I’m actually predicting a tie for fifth between holiday holdover Jumanji: The Next Level and The Gentlemen in its sophomore outing.

And with that, my top 6 forecast for a weekend where grosses should be really soft in Kansas City and San Francisco (and Miami) on Sunday:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $19.8 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $11 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

4. The Rhythm Section

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million

5. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

6. The Gentlemen 

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

Box Office Results (January 24-26)

Bad Boys for Life easily held the top spot in its second weekend with a robust $34 million, topping my $31.1 million prediction. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence threequel has amassed $120 million in its first ten days. For context, the second Boys in 2003 took in $138 million for its whole domestic run.

1917 was second with $15.9 million, in line with my $16.4 million take. The WWI epic has crossed the century mark at $103 million at it continues to build awards momentum for the following weekend.

Dolittle was third with $12.1 million (I was right there at $12.4 million) for an underwhelming two-week tally of $44 million.

Guy Ritchie’s crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey had the best debut in fourth at $10.6 million, just ahead of my $9.6 million projection. That’s pretty much right in line with expectations.

Jumanji: The Next Level rounded out the top five with $7.7 million and I incorrectly had it outside the high five. Total is $283 million as the triple century mark looks achievable.

Finally, critically drubbed horror pic The Turning was sixth with a weak $6.9 million showing. I was higher at $9 million. To add insult to injury, audiences hated it as it was marked with a rare F Cinemascore grade. That’s the second this year after The Grudge.

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

January 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/22): Revising my The Turning estimate down from to $12.2 million to $9 million

Two new titles open wide this weekend, but the Bad Boys ain’t going nowhere from the #1 spot after a scorching debut. We have the supernatural horror pic The Turning and Guy Ritchie comedic crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey premiering. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/16/the-turning-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/16/the-gentlemen-box-office-prediction/

I question whether either newcomer can hit the teens. I have The Turning almost getting there and placing fourth just behind the second weekend of Dolittle. As for The Gentlemen, I’m forecasting that it struggles to reach double digits and that should put it in the five spot.

Bad Boys for Life should lose about half its Friday to Sunday opening weekend haul and that would put it in the low 30s and far ahead of the pack. As for potential Best Picture winner 1917, look for it to jump up a spot to second as its drop shouldn’t be as pronounced as the Dolittle one.

And with that, my top 5 take on the weekend:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $31.1 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

4. The Gentlemen

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

5. The Turning

Predicted Gross: $9 million

Box Office Results (January 17-20)

Sporting the second best MLK long weekend gross of all time, sequelitis certainly was no issue for the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life. The action comedy exploded beyond expectations (with good reviews to boot) for $73 million over the four-day frame. That dwarfs my measly $45.6 million projection. Surprise surprise! A fourth edition has already been announced.

Don’t expect to see Dolittle 2. The Robert Downey Jr. family adventure made $28.3 million and that did top my $22.3 million estimate. However, with poor critical reaction and a bloated $175 million budget, it’s still a subpar result.

1917 dropped to third with $26.9 million, under my $34.4 million forecast. The Oscar hopeful is up to $81 million and it should hit the century club by this weekend.

Jumanji: The Next Level was fourth with $12.6 million (I said $11.8 million) for $273 million overall.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker rounded out the top five with $10.5 million compared to my $9.6 million prediction. Total is $494 million.

I incorrectly had Little Women outside of my top six projections, but it was 6th with $8.2 million. The Best Picture nominee is at $86 million.

Finally, I had Just Mercy holding better in its second weekend of wide release. It earned $7.5 million, below my $10.2 million take for a middling $21 million.

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