Another film version of the grim German fairy tale hits theaters next weekend with Gretel & Hansel. The fantasy horror flick comes from director Oz Perkins and he’s the son of Norman Bates himself – the late Psycho star Anthony Perkins. Sophia Lillis, Sam Leakey, Charles Babalola, and Alice Krige lead the cast.
This offering comes six years after Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton bowed in late January to a $19 million premiere. The inversely titled 2020 interpretation is not anticipated to get anywhere near that. For one thing, we just saw a version of the this in 2013. There’s also been plenty of horror pics for audiences to choose from recently.
Considering that, I believe double digits is highly unlikely and mid single digits is most probable.
Gretel & Hansel opening weekend prediction: $5.1 million
Paramount is hoping their spy thriller The Rhythm Section makes sweet music at the box office next weekend, but it’s likely to face an uphill battle. Reed Morano directs Blake Lively as a woman investigating the death of her family in a plane crash. Costars include Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown, and Max Casella.
Like many titles that end up in January, Section has seen its release date delayed from February to November 2019 and now this. Looking at comps in similar genre territory, 2011’s Hanna took in just over $12 million for its start. In 2012, Haywire premiered with $8.4 million.
Without much buzz surrounding it, I could see Rhythm falling in between those numbers. That puts it just under or just over double digits.
The Rhythm Section opening weekend prediction: $9.8 million
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:
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
Predicted Gross: $16.4 million
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.
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
Blogger’s Note (01/22): I’m revising my estimate down from $12.2 million to $9 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: $9 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)