Liam Neeson is a notorious bank robber trying to go good in the aptly titled Honest Thief, one of the few major theatrical releases hitting screens this month (and 2020 for that matter). The action pic is directed by Mark Williams with a supporting cast including Kate Walsh, Robert Patrick, Anthony Ramos, Jeffrey Donovan, and Jai Courtney.
The Open Road production should see a decent number of screens (probably 2000+) as there’s just not much fresh product in the marketplace. Neeson, of course, began a run of similar genre fare over a decade ago with the release of the surprise hit Taken. The grosses have dwindled in recent years. 2019’s Cold Pursuit managed just $11 million for its start.
We are in different times with smaller expectations in this COVID world. For example, this weekend’s The War with Grandpa starring Robert De Niro appears headed for an opening weekend take in the $3-4 million range. I’m not sure Thief makes off with quite that amount, but it might be close.
Honest Thief opening weekend prediction: $3.2 million
It’s the four-day President’s Day weekend at the box office with Valentines Day falling on Thursday. That means the trio of newcomers out are hitting screens during the week. They are Blumhouse horror sequel HappyDeathDay2U, James Cameron penned sci-fi graphic novel adaptation Alita: Battle Angel, and romantic comedy satire Isn’tItRomantic. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Before the weekend began, it was pretty much a given that TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart would repeat rather easily at #1 over this long frame. Now with it’s much less than forecasted debut (more on that below), there’s some uncertainty. What should help is that both DeathDay and Romantic come out on Wednesday with Alita following on Thursday. This particular weekend typically sees small declines for holdovers considering the extra day involved. In 2014, the first LegoMovie dipped a scant 9%. I’ve got the sequel dropping more than that, but I’ve still topping the charts.
That is, of course, if none of the newbies over perform and that’s certainly possible (especially with DeathDay part deux in my opinion). Yet the Wednesday premiere still leads me to think it could be a tad front loaded.
That means I have slots 2-4 reserved for the debuts with WhatMenWant rounding out the top five in its sophomore frame.
Here’s how I have the high-five shaking out and keep in mind these projections are for Friday through Monday.
1. TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart
Predicted Gross: $27.8 million
Predicted Gross: $22 million (Friday to Monday); $28.6 million (Wednesday to Monday)
3. Alita: BattleAngel
Predicted Gross: $19.7 million (Friday to Monday); $24.8 million (Thursday to Monday)
Predicted Gross: $14.3 million (Friday to Monday); $20.7 million (Wednesday to Monday)
Predicted Gross: $13 million
It was a weekend with four newcomers and they all came in under my expectations and none more so than TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart. The animated sequel had no problem nabbing the top spot, but it was a hollow victory as it earned $34.1 million. That’s less than half of what its predecessor started with five years ago and well below my $48.6 million prediction. Warner Bros may be forced to rethink the future of the franchise while they cross their fingers for a minimal drop this weekend.
WhatMenWant opened in so-so fashion in second with $18.2 million, below my forecast of $26.4 million. The comedic remake with Taraji P. Henson came in on the low-end of its range.
Same story for ColdPursuit as the Liam Neeson action thriller was third with $11 million (I was higher at $12.8 million). Neeson received all the wrong kinds of publicity in the lead up to the release and it certainly didn’t help.
On a rare positive note for this weekend, TheUpside continued its remarkable hold in fourth with $7 million compared to my $5.8 million take. The gross is currently $85 million as the century club appears assured.
Glass, after two weeks in first, slid to fifth with $6.2 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five and it’s scratching the $100 million mark at $98 million.
Horror flick TheProdigy was sixth with just $5.8 million, in line with my $6.1 million prediction. Look for it to disappear quickly.
After a sleepy box office weekend that’s normal for when the Super Bowl is played (which was sleepy as well), things pick up considerably in this second frame of February. There’s four newcomers that could populate those top four slots. They are the animated sequel TheLegoMovie2: The Second Part, Taraji P. Henson comedic remake WhatMenWant, Liam Neeson action thriller ColdPursuit, and horror flick TheProdigy. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
TheLego follow-up should have little trouble topping the charts, but I have it debuting significantly under the $69 million achieved by its predecessor four years ago.
I have WhatMenWant placing a strong second with ColdPursuit having a middling start in third. The five-spot could be a battle between TheProdigy and holdover TheUpside. The latter should experience a smaller drop than three-week champion Glass, which means it may fall from first to sixth.
And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend ahead:
Predicted Gross: $48.6 million
Predicted Gross: $26.4 million
Predicted Gross: $12.8 million
Predicted Gross: $6.1 million
Predicted Gross: $5.8 million
Super Bowl weekends are never bountiful ones at multiplexes and that held true this year. It was the worst SB frame in 19 years. Glass stayed in 1st with $9.5 million, cutting close to my $9.8 million prediction. Its total is $88 million.
TheUpside was close behind in second with $8.6 million (I said $9.1 million) for $75 million overall.
Action flick MissBala was the sole newbie and it was third with $6.8 million, ahead of my $5.8 million forecast. That’s nothing special, but not too shabby considering the reported $15 million budget.
Aquaman was fourth with $4.8 million (I said $5 million) for $323 million total. Spider–Man: IntotheSpider–Verse rounded out the top five with $4.5 million (I said $4.6 million). The Oscar favorite for Best Animated Feature is up to $175 million.
Orion Pictures hopes horror fans turn out next weekend with the release of TheProdigy. The fright fest casts “Orange Is the New Black” star Taylor Schilling as a mom who thinks her young son might be possessed by a demon. Jackson Robert Scott, most known as Georgie (the kid who got his arm ripped off by Pennywise in It), plays the boy. Nicholas McCarthy directs.
As has been said many times on this blog, this genre always has the possibility to surprise with a larger than anticipated opening. There’s no direct competition for horror watchers, but there’s three other pics debuting that should all premiere with bigger numbers (TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart, WhatMenWant, ColdPursuit).
The studio would be fortunate to see a rollout like 2016’s TheBoy, which managed nearly $11 million for its start. I don’t see it happening and I’ll project it makes a bit over half that figure.
TheProdigy opening weekend prediction: $6.1 million
For my TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart prediction, click here:
As they say, revenge is a film best served with Liam Neeson in it and Summit Entertainment hopes that holds true next weekend with ColdPursuit. The action thriller casts Neeson as a snow plow driver avenging the murder of his son with his particular set of skills. Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland is behind the camera and costars include Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, Tom Bateman, and William Forsythe.
We are a decade past the star’s career resurgence with the sleeper hit Taken and its two sequels. What followed were $20 million plus openers like Unknown and Non–Stop. The sub genre of Neeson tough guy flicks, however, has seen its grosses dwindle in recent years. AWalkAmongtheTombstones, RunAllNight, and last year’s TheCommuter all debuted in the low double digits to low teens range.
Reviews have been surprisingly strong and the Rotten Tomatoes score is at 93%. Several critics have praised an apparent well-placed sense of humor. Yet I’m skeptical that will give ColdPursuit a hot premiere. I’ll predict this falls right in line with his later entries.
ColdPursuit opening weekend prediction: $12.8 million
For my TheLegoMovie2: TheSecondPart prediction, click here: