March 22-24 Box Office Predictions

This weekend at the box office, it’s all about Us – as in Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed and eagerly awaited follow-up to his breakthrough hit Get Out. It’s the only new wide release before us and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/12/us-box-office-prediction/

I have the horror pic slated for a mid to high 50s debut and that should easily nab it the top spot, knocking Captain Marvel off after two weeks in first. The rest of the top five should be populated by holdovers Wonder Park and Five Feet Apart, which both exceeded expectations in their premieres, as well as How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Us

Predicted Gross: $56.8 million

2. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $36.4 million

3. Wonder Park

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million

4. Five Feet Apart

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million

5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

Box Office Results (March 1517)

Captain Marvel easily held onto first in its sophomore frame with $67.9 million, a touch below my $71.3 million projection. The Marvel blockbuster has amassed $264 million in its first ten days of release.

Animated Wonder Park placed second with $15.8 million, well beyond my $10.3 million prediction. Considering its reported $100 million budget, that’s still nothing spectacular, but it is definitely on the highest end of estimates.

Romantic drama Five Feet Apart was third with $13.1 million, ahead of my $10.7 million forecast. Unlike Wonder Park, the price tag here was a measly $7 million and it nearly doubled that out of the gate.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was fourth with $9.2 million (I said $9.4 million) for $135 million overall.

I didn’t give Mr. Perry enough credit as A Madea Family Funeral rounded out the top five with $7.8 million compared to my $5.6 million take. The three-week tally is $58 million.

Spanish comedy sequel No Manches Frida 2 was sixth, opening with $3.8 million on under 500 screens. I was close at $3.4 million.

In seventh, the barely publicized alien invasion thriller Captive State took in just $3.1 million (I said $2.8 million).

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

Captain Marvel Movie Review

By the time the strains of “Just a Girl” blare over the speakers during a climactic fight scene, there is no doubt that Captain Marvel has adequately placed itself as a bridge between Avengers epics. That’s not an especially high bar in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it answers the most important question needed before April’s Avengers: Endgame – who’s this new heroine that’s going to help the team we’re accustomed to seeing?

That would be Brie Larson as Vers. She’s part of the Kree alien race with persistent flashbacks to an old life on C53, a planet otherwise known as Earth. Her mentor is Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), who helps her hone her mysterious superpowers. The flashback mentor is Mar-Vell (get it?) and she takes the form of Annette Bening as an all-knowing being who may have taught Vers in a previous life that’s fuzzy to her.

Since this is the MCU, we correctly suspect that purported good guys may become bad guys and vice versa. Vers and her team are battling another race called the Skrulls, led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn, always solid). They can take the form of any being they wish, so we see Mr. Mendelsohn in his bespectacled British form and in impeccable creature makeup.

Vers’s interactions with the Skrulls involves a crash landing in Los Angeles. Not today’s L.A., mind you, but 1995 L.A. where relics of the past like Blockbuster Video and two-way pagers exist. This time frame is mined for humor and its soundtrack that includes Nirvana and Salt n Pepa. We also meet Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in his pre eyepatch days and a rookie Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg).

The Earth bound action gets us to a place where we can call Vers the Captain now. And clad in her Nine Inch Nails t-shirt, it get us one step closer to her joining Captain America, Tony Stark, and others decades later.

Captain Marvel is yet another origin story and it follows the tried and true MCU blueprint. Luckily for us, that familiar path includes picking directors (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) that are unconventional choices (they’re known for indie dramas like Half Nelson). It includes humorous touches that work and plenty of them come in the feline form of Goose, who steals some sequences.

Have there been stronger intros in this franchise before? Absolutely. As the first female MCU hero with a stand-alone tale, Larson is spirited. Is her back story as inspiring as what the DCU provided in Wonder Woman? I’d have to say no. And like many MCU pics before it, the villains here are standard – even with fine actors playing them. We will see if Larson’s character can become a fan favorite in this vast world. I’d say the jury is currently unsure. At the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War, we learned she was needed. Captain Marvel provides some decently entertaining history as to why.

*** (out of four)

March 15-17 Box Office Predictions

Captain Marvel looks to make another giant pot of box office gold in its sophomore frame while a quartet of newcomers could struggle to get noticed. There’s the animated Wonder Park, youthful romantic drama Five Feet Apart, and alien invasion flick Captive State debuting and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/09/wonder-park-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/09/five-feet-apart-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/10/captive-state-box-office-prediction/

I’m not expecting much from the newbies. I didn’t do an individual post for Mexican comedy sequel No Manches Frida 2, which hits the smallest number of screens at around 450. It will likely post the highest per screen average of the premieres and I’ll forecast a $3.4 million debut for sixth place. That’s better than my take on Captive State. It opens in almost five times as many venues, but I’m projecting a measly $2.8 million.

Park and Feet could find themselves in a close battle for second. I’m giving the latter a slight edge. It’s also feasible that How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World could stay in the runner-up spot behind the latest MCU juggernaut.

Here’s how I have the top 5 playing out:

1. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $71.3 million

2. Five Feet Apart

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million

3. Wonder Park

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million

5. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

Box Office Results (March 1517)

I’ll give myself a little pat on the back with my Captain Marvel prediction as it made $153.4 million and I was just a million off at $154.4 million. That’s a sterling start for Brie Larson’s heroine and I look for this to fall around 53% in its second frame.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World fell to second with $14.6 million. I was a touch higher at $16.6 million. Total is $119 million.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral was third with $12.4 million (I said $11 million) for $46 million overall in two weeks.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part made $3.8 million for fourth place. My $3.9 million forecast was right there. It’s nearly at the century mark with $97 million.

Alita: Battle Angel rounded out the top five with $3.2 million (I said $4 million) for $78 million to date.

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

Wonder Park Box Office Prediction

It’s been a bumpy ride for Nickelodeon’s animated feature Wonder Park, but it finally hits screens this Friday. Originally titled Amusement Park and scheduled for release last summer, the pic comes with a reported $100 million price tag. The film’s director Dylan Brown was fired by the studio in early 2018 due to various sexual harassment claims. Newcomer Brianna Denski provides the lead voiceover role along with familiar faces such as Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, and John Oliver.

The box office grosses for Park, considering its hefty price tag, might not be amusing at all. It doesn’t help that Captain Marvel will be in its sophomore frame as it also appeals to family crowds. I believe this will make low double digits for its start and that would amount to a costly flop for Paramount.

Wonder Park opening weekend prediction: $10.3 million

For my Five Feet Apart prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/09/five-feet-apart-box-office-prediction/

For my Captive State prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/10/captive-state-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Captain Marvel

The MCU appears poised to have another blockbuster on their hands this weekend with the release of Captain Marvel. Reviews were embargoed for a little longer than usual for the multi billion dollar franchise, but they’re out and critical reaction has been fairly solid. The Brie Larson led pic stands at 84% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s just a percentage point behind last year’s Avengers: Infinity War – while nowhere near the 97% achieved by Black Panther.

It was, of course, Panther that became the first superhero flick to nab a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. That won’t happen here. The storyline as far as this MCU title’s awards chances is the same as most of them and that’s Visual Effects.

Nine MCU entries have nabbed nods in Visual Effects. Interestingly, none of them have won. Competition this year will be stiff. There’s another franchise effort (Avengers: Endgame) that likely has a better shot. That’s in addition to expected players such as the next Star Wars, The Lion King, and Alita: Battle Angel, to name just some.

Bottom line: Captain Marvel will bring audiences in. Awards chatter is more of a reach. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

March 8-10 Box Office Predictions

The MCU will undeniably be the captain this weekend at the box office as Captain Marvel blasts into multiplexes. The pic comes off a banner 2017 for the studio that saw Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War dominate the year. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/02/27/captain-marvel-box-office-prediction/

My forecast north of $150 million gives it the seventh largest opening of the franchise. I believe it will help tremendously that it’s seen as a bridge between Infinity War and next month’s Avengers: Endgame.

No other studio bothered to open anything against the MCU juggernaut. That means two-time champ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will dip to second position. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral opened well, but it should experience a rather hefty decline as other Madea titles have. Holdovers Alita: Battle Angel and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part might be close vying for fourth place.

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

1. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $154.4 million

2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $16.6 million

3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Predicted Gross: $11 million

4. Alita: Battle Angel

Predicted Gross: $4 million

5. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Predicted Gross: $3.9 million

Box Office Results (March 13)

As mentioned, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World stayed atop the charts for a second time despite Madea. The Dreamworks Animation pic took in $30 million, a bit under my $32.2 million projection. It’s staring at the century mark with $97 million.

Tyler Perry has claimed A Madea Family Funeral is the character’s swan song. If so, she went out on a high note with $27 million compared to my $22.8 million estimate. That’s the franchise’s third best starting haul.

Alita: Battle Angel was third with $7.2 million (I said $6.3 million) for $72 million overall.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was fourth with $6.6 million. I was lower at $5.3 million. It’s built its earnings up to $91 million.

Fighting with My Family was fifth at $4.6 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It’s made $14 million in two weeks.

Greta was the weekend’s non-Madea newbie and it debuted in eighth place with a ho-hum $4.4 million. I had it at $5.6 million.

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

Captain Marvel Box Office Prediction

Captain Marvel pilots into theaters next weekend with the highest opening of the year thus far easily in its sights. The latest entry from the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes after a banner 2017 from the studio that saw Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War both earn over $675 million domestically. Brie Larson stars as the title character alongside Samuel L. Jackson as a younger Nick Fury as the tale takes place in the mid 90s. Other costars include Jude Law, Annette Bening, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lace, Gemma Chan, and Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, known for making small pics like Half Nelson and Mississippi Grind, up their budget game here behind the camera.

The newest MCU saga serves as a bridge between Infinity War and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, as was hinted at during the end credits of the former. That alone should provide it a substantial opening. As mentioned, it should have zero trouble posting the year’s largest debut and should hold that designation until the Endgame arrival in late April. How much that specific number is lies within a wide range. On the low-end of projections, we could see a debut in the vicinity of the $117 million made by 2017’s SpiderMan: Homecoming. The high-end could approach the friendly neighborhood of $180 million.

If Captain Marvel makes it to that level, we could be looking at an all-time record for the month of March. That mark is currently held by Beauty and the Beast at $174 million. I’m not sure it manages to get there, but it’s dangerous to underestimate the MCU. I think a more likely scenario is the #3 biggest March debut – currently held by The Hunger Games, which made $152 million out of the gate. I’ll put it just over that.

Captain Marvel opening weekend prediction: $154.4 million