The Foreigner Box Office Prediction

After a rather lengthy layoff from headlining any major stateside projects, Jackie Chan is back in theaters next weekend with The Foreigner. The action thriller finds the martial arts star in full revenge mode after his daughter is murdered. Pierce Brosnan costars and Martin Campbell (best known for restarting the 007 franchise in Goldeneye with Brosnan and Casino Royale with Daniel Craig directs.

Chan’s last significant release in the U.S. was the 2010 hit remake of The Karate Kid. We’re 20 years past the point when he was kicking out releases every few months. The best comps for the opening weekend may not belong with Chan, but with Brosnan. His last couple appearances were 2014’s The November Man at $7.9 million and 2015’s No Escape with $8.1 million.

I’ll predict The Foreigner gets a bit above that, but doesn’t reach double digits.

The Foreigner opening weekend prediction: $8.8 million

For my Happy Death Day prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/04/happy-death-day-box-office-prediction/

For my Marshall prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/05/marshall-box-office-prediction/

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Top 25 Best Movies (1990-2015): Nos. 25-21

With 2015 nearly over, we can take a look at the beginning of the 1990s through today and see an entire generation of films represented. It caused your trusty movie blogger to think about what my personal favorite 25 pictures have been over that time period and that’s a daunting task. I chose to make the list anyway and, truth be told, it’s a list that could literally fluctuate from day to day.

For one thing, it certainly wouldn’t be accurate to say I’ve seen every acclaimed film from 1990-2015 (and there’s still more to come). Yet I certainly feel confident I’ve viewed enough to make a solid listing and if it changes, I’ll gladly update this.

What we have here is my personal best breakdown of my 25 pictures I keep going back to. That I just can’t quit (Brokeback Mountain didn’t make the cut, by the way). Obviously this is entirely subjective. Movies I wrote down that didn’t make the list are ones that I truly love and or admire from comedies like Dumb and Dumber, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, The Big Lebowski, There’s Something About Mary, The 40 Yr. Old Virgin, and Superbad. Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, which is way at the top of my traditional animated material from the studio. Same goes for Pixar’s Toy Story franchise. Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained. Fincher’s The Game. Genre standard bearers like Scream, The Matrix, and Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Best Picture winners Unforgiven and No Country for Old Men. American Psycho. Glengarry Glen Ross. Black Swan. Nightcrawler. Captain Phillips. American Sniper. Lost in Translation. Casino. Traffic. The Sixth Sense. The Usual Suspects. L.A. Confidential. Inception. And this is what didn’t make it.

So let’s get to what did, my friends! We’ll do this in five installments counting down from #25 to #1. Here we go:

25. Drive (2011)

Director Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultra violent art house crime pic is a triumph of mood and music with magnificent performances from Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks. More than most others, Drive stayed with me and I find myself going back to it frequently. Is it in acquired taste? Yes and definitely mine.

24. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

This is the only documentary of many I could have considered for inclusion, including Hoop Dreams, Man on Wire, and so on. Yet no documentary floored me like Capturing the Friedmans, which tells the truth is stranger than fiction tale of family members accused of child molestation. It’s riveting, heart wrenching stuff that I found myself endlessly recommending to friends.

23. Fight Club (1999)

I wasn’t crazy about David Fincher’s Fight Club when I saw it in the theater circa October 1999. Since then, I’ve come around and been able to recognize it for the timely masterpiece that it is.

22. Casino Royale (2006)

It’s my second favorite James Bond flick ever after only 1963’s From Russia with Love. It brilliantly cast Daniel Craig in the role of 007 and stands as an absolute classic in the canon of the British super spy franchise.

21. Minority Report (2002)

Many movie fans simply thought this Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise futuristic action thriller was solid. I thought it was amazing from the moment I set eyes on it and it says a lot about the current state of our world and its security. It’s Spielberg’s best work since the early 1980s in my opinion.

And there you have it! I’ll have 20-16 up very soon…

The #1 Movies That May Shock You

So get this… when James Bond made his triumphant return to the silver screen in 2006 with Daniel Craig and Casino Royale, it did not open at #1 at the box office. That’s because it opened against the animated hit Happy Feet and those darn penguins never allowed 007 a top spot.

Yet two years later, the critically massacred Bangkok Dangerous with Nicolas Cage did manage to open atop the charts. This is a picture that’d almost certainly be relegated to a VOD only debut today.

This is one among many surprising examples of films in the last two decades that were fortunate enough to claim that they were the #1 movie in America that you wouldn’t expect. It’s all about timing. And there’s a host of easily forgotten pictures that accomplished the number one feat due to debuting in January or April or September in many cases – often seen as dumping grounds for studios. The reverse holds true. As with Casino Royale and others, the fact that they opened in more competitive weekends prevented them from top dog bragging rights.

Neither Austin Powers (in the original 1997 pic) or Ron Burgundy can claim a first place ribbon. Austin came in second to Kurt Russell’s Breakdown out of the gate. The first Anchorman couldn’t topple the second weekend of Spider-Man 2 in 2004. The 2013 sequel couldn’t get above the second Hobbit flick.

However, David Spade’s Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star somehow hit #1 in 2003 when it came out in the doldrums known as early September. And how about that Classic Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy romp Heartbreakers? It also reigned supreme for a week in April 2001. The 2011 Farrelly Brothers dud Hall Pass with Owen Wilson accomplished the same, but it took his Wedding Crashers three weeks to get to first due to interference from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Even Frozen couldn’t open first and it may be the most beloved kids flick in some time. You know what did? 2003’s Kangaroo Jack and I didn’t see too many kids wearing his Halloween costume…

In 1996, Jean Claudde Van Damme had two #1 premieres with The Quest and Maximum Risk. So did Steven Seagal in 1997 with Fire Down Below and Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen in 2010 with Takers. Much better known action pictures such as Wanted, World War Z, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Bourne Identity cannot claim the same.

How about horror classics Urban Legends: Final Cut, Darkness Falls, The Covenant, The Roommate and The Possession? Number ones they all were. Real genre classics Scream and Saw? Nope.

Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for The Blind Side, but it never got there. Christoph Waltz did for Django Unchained. Same story. These films did open #1 and have a combined zero Oscar nominations among them: Eye of the Beholder and The Musketeer from 2001. SwimFan in 2002. The Forgotten (how appropriate) in 2004. Glory Road in 2006. Lakeview Terrace in 2010.

So, as you can see, longevity counts in box office world and being #1 doesn’t always equate to adoration. Just ask James Bond. And then ask Dickie Roberts.

Oscar History: 2006

Rocky over Taxi Driver. Ordinary People over Raging Bull. Dances with Wolves over GoodFellas. These are all examples where, in hindsight, pictures directed by Martin Scorsese and the auteur himself probably should have received Oscars wins and not just nominations. In 2002, Scorsese’s Gangs of New York was seen as a Best Picture frontrunner until Chicago stole its thunder. The same held true two years later with The Aviator until Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby had a late surge and took the prize. By 2006, Scorsese was undoubtedly the most acclaimed director whose films had never won the gold statue. And neither had he.

This would finally come to an end with The Departed, his crime thriller that won Best Picture and this kicks off my 2006 Oscar History.

The other four nominees were Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s Babel, Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Feris’s Little Miss Sunshine, and Stephen Frears’s The Queen. The voters got it right. The Departed was the Best Picture of the year.

As for other pictures I would’ve considered: Alfonso Cuaron’s terrific Children of Men, Guillermo del Toro’s visual feast Pan’s Labyrinth, the Ryan Gosling drama Half Nelson, and Todd Field’s Little Children. And for an outside the box pic – why not Casino Royale, which brought the Bond franchise back in grand fashion and ranks as my 2nd all-time 007 pic after From Russia with Love?

Scorsese, as mentioned before, would win Director over Inarritu, Eastwood, Frears, and Paul Greengrass for United 93. Once again – my list would’ve found room for Cuaron and del Toro.

In the Best Actor race, Forest Whitaker expectedly won for his performance as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Other nominees: Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond (many thought he’d get nominated instead for Departed), Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson, Peter O’Toole for Venus (his final nomination), and Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness.

Once again, my ballot might’ve listed Daniel Craig for his electric take on James Bond. Others to consider: Clive Owen (Children of Men), Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for Smoking), or Matt Damon’s work in The Departed.

No surprise in the Best Actress race as Helen Mirren’s work as Queen Elizabeth II was honored in The Queen over Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), and Kate Winslet (Little Children).

That’s a strong Actress category, but I would’ve also had Natalie Portman’s fine performance in V for Vendetta included.

The only true surprise at the 2006 Oscars occurred in the Supporting Actor category where Eddie Murphy’s acclaimed work in Dreamgirls was expected to win. Instead the Academy honored Alan Arkin’s performance in Little Miss Sunshine. Other nominees: Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond), and Mark Wahlberg (The Departed).

Instead of Wahlberg, many believed it would be Jack Nicholson for Departed that received the nomination. I was cool with it – considering Nicholson had already won three times before and this marked Wahlberg’s first nod. Other names I would have possibly included: Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine), Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada), Michael Sheen (The Queen), and for his brilliant comedic work – John C. Reilly in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Jennifer Hudson had the distinction of being the first “American Idol” contestant turned Oscar winner with her lauded role in Dreamgirls – winning out over Babel actresses Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi, young Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine, and Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal.

My list would have absolutely included Shareeka Epps with her fabulous work in Half Nelson and probably Vera Farmiga in The Departed.

And that’s your 2006 Oscar history! I’ll be back soon with 2007 where another beloved director (s) would take home their first Oscar gold.