The King’s Daughter Box Office Prediction

Over the past two years, we’ve become accustomed to movies experiencing significant delays. The King’s Daughter takes the crown. Not to be confused with the recently out The King’s Man, this was actually filmed before the first Kingsman was released. The principal photography was done during the early part of the fifth year of the Obama administration.

You didn’t read that incorrectly. The adventure fantasy from director Sean McNamara was completed in the spring of 2014 and has set on the shelf since. Pierce Brosnan plays King Louis XIV and the plot involves him stealing a mermaid’s life force to become immortal (you did read that correctly). Costars include Kara Scodelario, Benjamin Walker, William Hurt, Rachel Griffiths, Fan Bingbing, and Julie Andrews (who narrates).

The fact that Gravitas Ventures is even putting this out theatrically is surprising as the distributor usually goes the PVOD route. It’s reportedly not much of a release with an output of around 1000 screens. I certainly wouldn’t anticipate this making a splash. I’ll say it gets to a million bucks and that might be generous.

The King’s Daughter opening weekend prediction: $1 million

For my Redeeming Love prediction, click here:

Redeeming Love Box Office Prediction

Scream Box Office Prediction

**Blogger’s Note (01/13): On the eve of its premiere, I am upping the 4-day tally for Scream from $29.4 million to $36.4M

The fifth installment of the Scream franchise slashes its way into theaters on January 14th, hoping to bring in a sizable horror fan base. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, makers of V/H/S and Ready or Not, direct as they take reigns of the series from scare master Wes Craven (who helmed the first four and passed away in 2015). Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Marley Shelton, and Roger L. Jackson (as the iconic voice of Ghostface) reprise roles from previous entries. Newcomers include Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, and Jack Quaid.

Nearly a quarter century ago, the low-budget original became a cultural phenomenon and revitalized the genre. Two sequels followed in quick succession in 1997 and 2000 while part 4 hit in 2011. It was a commercial disappointment – taking in only $38 million at the domestic box office (with a $19 million start).

Paramount and Dimension Films are hoping that nostalgia will bring audiences back to the fold. Fright fests, more than any other type of pic in 2021, proved immune to challenges faced in the COVID era in terms of solid openings. The third Conjuring and Candyman each premiered in the low to mid 20s range. Scream will have an extra day of earnings when factoring in the long MLK frame.

January is very desolate in terms of high profile debuts and Scream is by far the biggest one. It marks a major test for theaters as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country. If this fails to perform, don’t be surprised to see delays for upcoming releases. Even with that potential barrier and the underperformance of its predecessor, I envision this managing a mid to possibly late 20s haul when including Monday.

Scream opening weekend prediction: $36.4 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

The 355 Box Office Prediction

One thing is for certain – Simon Kinberg’s spy flick The 355 will be the highest grossing movie released in 2022. That’s, of course, because it will be the first and it will hold that title briefly since Scream comes out a week later. Coming out a year after its COVID delay, it marks the second directorial effort from Kinberg (who’s known primarily for his screenwriting). His first was the commercial and critical X-Men misfire Dark Phoenix. 

Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, and Edgar Ramirez make up the cast. Two of them (Chastain from The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Cruz in Parallel Mothers) may find themselves competing against each other for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars.

January is often seen as a dumping ground for material that isn’t expected to make waves at multiplexes. The 355 is slated to be available for streaming on Peacock 45 days after its cinematic debut.

I don’t see this posting impressive numbers and I would certainly be surprised if it manages to top $10 million. It may be lucky to reach even $5 million.

The 355 opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

2021: The Year of Andrew Garfield

My third post covering actors who had a memorable 2021 reaches yet another one who appeared in (SPOILER ALERT)…

Spider-Man: No Way Home, the MCU juggernaut that jumpstarted a box office suffering from nearly two years in the COVID era. It started with Benedict Cumberbatch and continued with Zendaya. Now we’re at Andrew Garfield.

His reprisal of his web slinging part is garnering retribution comments for his two stint as the superhero which drew mixed audience and critical reaction. Yet that’s not the primary reason for Garfield’s inclusion.

As playwright Jonathan Larson in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Netflix musical drama Tick, Tick… Boom!, Garfield looks to nab his second Oscar nomination five years after Hacksaw Ridge. He will vie for the prize along with Mr. Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) and Will Smith for King Richard. 

As televangelist Jim Bakker alongside Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Garfield earned further kudos for his embodiment of a real life figure.

Another Spidey actor whose work in other projects accuentated the 2021 output. My Year Of posts will continue…

Don’t Look Up Review

The forecast in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is a planet killing comet mixed with a heavy dose of condescension. This is an all-star experience about our home star being decimated. The writer/director is a Saturday Night Live veteran scribe who mastered the art of penning sketches with exaggerated characters. Even with all the talent involved (there’s lots of Oscar nods and wins among the cast), hardly any rise above caricature status. The nerdy but hot scientist, the clueless government officials, the spoiled pop princess, the pompous and feeble brained news anchors, the empathy devoid and weird billionaire…

These one-note types may fit a mold in a cleverly developed bit that runs five minutes. Not so much in this two and a half hour countdown. They’re mostly tiresome in McKay’s latest politically charged tale. In The Big Short, the filmmaker mixed a cast of familiar faces, complicated financial talk, and humor to rewarding payoffs. McKay’s comedies with Will Ferrell (particularly Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) are already classics. The issue presented here isn’t complex… a scientific discovery (doubling as a metaphor for climate change) is on its way. McKay’s treatment of the subject matter isn’t subtle. And the screenplay often fails to be funny when showcasing its righteous indignation. Anger and laughter can be a potent combo if handled properly. It’s a test that isn’t met here.

Michigan St. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers said object hurtling toward Earth with a delivery date about six months out. Her professor, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) teams with her along with the head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (Rob Morgan) to warn a White House filled with scandal and nepotism. The President is Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep), whose Supreme Court nominee may be a porn star and her lover. Her Chief of Staff is her intellectually challenged but supremely confident son (Jonah Hill).

The 100% certainty of a deep impact causing armageddon is not music to the ears of the flailing administration. In fact, Kate and Dr. Mindy are booked in the back segment of a “news” hour hosted by a duo played by Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry. The segment preceding them is about the romantic entanglements of a famous singer (Ariana Grande). Some of the country takes the threat seriously while another segment pretends it doesn’t exist (and yes it’s easy to draw comparisons to the pandemic era).

President Orlean and her bumbling bubble get more involved when eccentric tech mogul Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) figures out a way to monetize the materials from the potential Earth shatterer. And while Dr. Mindy becomes distracted with his new fame and social media status, Kate’s stern warnings make her an enemy of the state.

I won’t get to Kate’s two boyfriends or Dr. Mindy’s wife and kids or whether the snacks in the White House are free or not (actually a gag that’s pretty solid). There’s a whole lot of players in Don’t Look Up and I’m challenged to name a performance that sticks with me for the right reasons. DiCaprio and Lawrence are adequate, but we know they can be so much better. Others are outright annoying and that includes Hill, Rylance, and even Streep. That’s because McKay never writes them above the level of cartoonish morons.

Will your political viewpoints determine whether you dig this? I don’t think so. The frequent struggles to develop the principals and the jarring tone shifts (a late pivot to sentimentality falls flat) should offend both sides and those in between. I’ve watched McKay skewer his targets with far more precision that achieved more lasting results. He’s clear that we’re all doomed in Don’t Look Up. With the characters inhabiting his screenplay, you might find yourself pulling for the comet.

** (out of four)

2021: The Year of Benedict Cumberbatch

As has become a late December tradition on the blog, I will highlight some performers who had a fruitful year either at the box office or in terms of awards contention. Our first entry fits the description for both.

Benedict Cumberbatch is at the top of the Oscar conversation for Best Actor for his work in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog. The Netflix drama has already earned him some critics prizes and it appears he will vie for the gold statue along with Will Smith in King Richard or Andrew Garfield in Tick Tick… Boom! It will most certainly mark his second Academy nomination seven years after The Imitation Game. 

The actor’s second streaming picture was The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. While the Amazon Prime pic drew mixed reactions, most write-ups praised Cumberbatch’s lead work as the kitten drawing artist.

And though his spy thriller The Courier (which opened last spring) flew under the radar, it generated solid reviews.

The box office potency, of course, comes from Spider-Man: No Way Home in which he reprises his role as Doctor Strange. The Marvel property scored the second largest domestic opening in history and has reignited a sleepy pandemic era marketplace. His appearance in Home should help with crowd anticipation for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the sequel to the 2016 original that hits multiplexes in March of next year.

Whether with Oscar voters or mass audiences, Cumberbatch had a visible presence in 2021. My Year Of posts will continue…

The King’s Man Box Office Prediction

In the Yuletide battle for franchise supremacy, The King’s Man will undoubtedly come in fourth among the contenders. A prequel to the two Kingsman features that preceded it, the spy thriller was originally set for release over two years ago. COVID delays have pushed it all the way to December 22nd.

Matthew Vaughn returns in the director’s chair with a cast including Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans (who’s also costarring in Spider-Man: No Way Home), Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander (not to be confused with Tom Holland of Spidey fame), Harris Dickinson, Daniel Bruhl, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance.

The aforementioned Spider-Man juggernaut will most certainly reign supreme over the holidays, followed by The Matrix Resurrections and Sing 2 in the 2-3 slots (the order of that is up for debate). Moviegoers punching their tickets for the superhero and Neo will siphon away plenty of viewers that may have an interest in this.

In February 2015, Kingsman: The Secret Service exceeded expectations with a Presidents Day weekend haul of over $40 million. 2017 sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle made $39 million in its September debut. Four years is quite a lag time between entries and the fact that it’s a prequel (and missing Colin Firth and Taron Egerton) doesn’t help. The 45% Rotten Tomatoes score doesn’t inspire great confidence either.

The five-day grosses should be able to reach low double digits to low teens, but it might only make single digits for the traditional Friday to Sunday frame. I believe the competition is just too steep for the King’s to shine.

The King’s Man opening weekend prediction: $8.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my The Matrix Resurrections prediction, click here:

The Matrix Resurrections Box Office Prediction

For my Sing 2 prediction, click here:

Sing 2 Box Office Prediction

For my American Underdog prediction, click here:

American Underdog Box Office Prediction

For my A Journal for Jordan prediction, click here:

A Journal for Jordan Box Office Prediction

The Matrix Resurrections Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (12/21): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising down Resurrections prediction from $30.7 million for the three-day and $47.2 million for the five-day to $26.7 million and $40.3 million for the five-day

The Matrix Resurrections won’t be The One when it opens December 22nd, giving itself a five-day Christmas rollout. That’s thanks to what should be a robust sophomore frame for Spider-Man: No Way Home. It might not even be The Two if Sing 2 manages to squeak by it for the runner-up position.

Arriving 18 years after The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions hit screens in 2003, this is the fourth franchise entry that began in 1999 and changed how we look at action blockbusters. The original Matrix is a landmark. The sequels that followed were met with considerably more mixed reaction (especially part 3).

Lana Wachowski directs without her sister Lilly (they made the trilogy together). Returning are Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lambert Wilson, and Jada Pinkett Smith. New to the game are Yahya Abdul-Mateen (taking over for Laurence Fishburne as a more youthful Morpheus), Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jones, and Christina Ricci. Once slated for May, it was postponed for pandemic purposes.

There’s no doubt that Resurrections is an event picture that has many devotees of the series ready to rush out. That said, it’s a major question mark as to how high this gets. While this is certainly an experience many will want to catch on the biggest screen possible, there is the option to view it simultaneously on HBO Max. Plenty of viewers not of the die-hard persuasion could choose to watch from the comfort of the couch. And while I’m sure many younger viewers are familiar with parts I-III – they may not have the reverence for it that fans, say, 35 and up do. Furthermore there is that pesky Spider-Man hanging around gobbling up the Yuletide dollars.

Don’t get me wrong. Resurrections could have a huge opening and amass $70 million from Wednesday to Sunday. Reloaded took in over $90 million for its start and held the title of highest grossing R-rated pic for over a decade until Deadpool replaced it. On the other hand, Revolutions couldn’t keep up and petered out with $139 million total.

One rather obvious comp is Dune, another sci-fi spectacle that followed 2021’s Warner Bros pattern of premiering their theatrical fare on HBO’s subscription service. It made $40 million over the traditional opening weekend. I’m estimating that Resurrections won’t hit that number from Friday to Sunday, but that the extra two days could bring in $45-$50 million.

The Matrix Resurrections opening weekend prediction: $26.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $40.3 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Sing 2 prediction, click here:

Sing 2 Box Office Prediction

For my The King’s Man prediction, click here:

The King’s Man Box Office Prediction

For my American Underdog prediction, click here:

American Underdog Box Office Prediction

For my A Journal for Jordan prediction, click here:

A Journal for Jordan Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions – Spider-Man: No Way Home

When Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy kicked off nearly 20 years ago, it managed to nab a Best Visual Effects nod (losing to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers). Two years later, the 2004 sequel won the prize. Since then, the five Spidey features that followed (Maguire’s third, both Andrew Garfield iterations, and the first two Tom Holland MCU flicks) didn’t show up in the race. Will Spider-Man: No Way Home change that?

The 27th entry (and fourth this year) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts Friday and I have it pegged for the fourth best domestic opening of all time (behind Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens). The review embargo lifted early this morning and it stands at an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

While nearly all critical notices are positive, I don’t think this will be the second MCU title to nab a Best Picture nomination behind Black Panther. While Best Sound is feasible, Home‘s best hope at Academy inclusion is in Visual Effects. MCU movies vying for that prize is not unusual. The inaugural pic in the biggest franchise of all (2008’s Iron Man) made the cut. So have Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Infinity War, and Endgame. None have won.

So despite the last quintet of web slinger sagas not being honored for their effects, Home should have no problem? I don’t think it’s quite that simple. There are two Warner Bros sci-fi extravaganzas (Dune and The Matrix Resurrections) that should get in. That leaves three slots. Warner has another hopeful with Godzilla vs. Kong. Marvel itself has Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals (and Black Widow to a lesser degree) vying for spots. Shang-Chi especially could get in (the Critics Choice Awards included it on their ballot). Don’t Look Up, Finch, and No Time to Die are other possibilities. It’s worth noting that whether Home makes the five, Dune is the very heavy favorite to take gold.

Here’s my hunch: by the time Academy voters cast their final votes, Home appears bound to have heightened box office numbers to their highest achievements in the pandemic era. That fact alone might get it some recognition from the Oscars and that would be for its visuals. Another interesting stat: of the ten current largest stateside premieres ever, only two (Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World) didn’t score at least one nomination from the Academy. That puts this in a decent position. My Oscar Predictions posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of December 17-19

**Blogger’s Note (12/14): After elevating my Spidey prediction from $193.7M to $223.7M – I’m reverting down to $188.7M… (12/16) – Spidey revised to $213.7M and Alley down to $3.3M

Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to demolish pandemic era records and possibly double the opening weekend record of these COVID times and then some. We also have Guillermo del Toro’s noir thriller Nightmare Alley with Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and plenty of other Oscar winners and nominees out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies right here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home Box Office Prediction

Nightmare Alley Box Office Prediction

Spidey is poised for numbers not seen since 2019. Some prognostications have this as high as $250 million. I’m going with a $223.7 million haul, but I must say I do so with some trepidation due to these continuing uncertain times. If it achieves my mark, that would be good for the 4th largest domestic debut of all time (right behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and just ahead of its sequel The Last Jedi).

There’s obviously no question as to what will be #1. Home will do that by outgrossing the rest of the top five combined with possibly $200 million to spare. What’s #2 is a legitimate question. West Side Story had a disappointing debut and will hope to leg out well over the coming holiday frames. It may have a soft sophomore dip due to being counter programming to Spidey. Yet I’ll peg it for a 40% drop as it hopes to rebound over Christmas and with ongoing awards buzz. That could put it in a fierce battle for the runner-up position with Encanto.

Or… Nightmare Alley could open in second. I’m skeptical. Despite an all-star cast and coming from an acclaimed director, Alley is starting out at a distinct disadvantage with the web slinger siphoning away much of its intended crowd. I’ll say it kicks off with a subdued 4th place start. Ghostbusters: Afterlife should round out the top five.

And with that, my take on what should be a record breaking weekend:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $213.7 million

2. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $6 million

3. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

5. Nightmare Alley

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

Box Office Results (December 10-12)

There likely wasn’t a whole lot of celebratory dancing at 20th Century Studios as West Side Story struggled out of the gate. Its $10.5 million barely managed a #1 showing and came in under my $14.8 million call. As mentioned, the story may not be over as audiences could find it over the holidays. Its studio is certainly hoping so.

Encanto slipped to second with $9.9 million, above my $8.5 million take for $71 million overall.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was third at $7.1 million (ahead of my $5.8 million prediction) for $112 million total.

Fourth place was House of Gucci with $4.1 million. My projection was on the money at $4 million. Tally is $41 million.

Eternals was in the five spot with $3.1 million (I said $2.8 million) as it’s up to $161 million.

Last and least, the football drama National Champions fumbled terribly. I thought it might manage $1.6 million. Not so much. It was an unlucky 13th with $321,000. Oof.

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