A Dog’s Journey Box Office Prediction

A Dog’s Journey finds its way to theaters next weekend and it comes without the controversy that greeted its predecessor. In 2017, A Dog’s Purpose got in some water when video surfaced of an animal being mistreated on set. The film managed to turn into a decent sized hit with an opening just north of $18 million and $64 eventual domestic gross. That’s enough to warrant a sequel and Journey is also based on a book by W. Bruce Cameron. Gail Mancuso takes over directorial duties from Lasse Hallstrom. Josh Gad is back voicing the lead canine and costars include Dennis Quaid, Marg Helgenberger, and Betty Gilpin.

I’m not confident that Journey will follow the same box office path as Purpose did with its high teens range. I do think it’ll manage to top 2019’s A Dog’s Way Home, which premiered to $11.2 million. A gross just under the teens seems like the right call.

A Dog’s Journey opening weekend prediction: $11.8 million

For my John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/07/john-wick-chapter-3-parabellum-box-office-prediction/

For my The Sun Is Also a Star prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/10/the-sun-is-also-a-star-box-office-prediction/

The Intruder Box Office Prediction

Home is apparently where the homicidal maniacs are when The Intruder debuts next weekend. The thriller casts Michael Ealy and Meagan Good are new homebuyers whose previous owner (Dennis Quaid) goes to deadly lengths to keep it. Deon Taylor, maker of Meet the Blacks and Traffik, directs.

The pic was originally slated for April 26, but set its date back a week when Avengers: Endgame snatched up that real estate. The Screen Gems release looks to serve as counter programming to the MCU behemoth’s sophomore weekend.

It could find some success in that regard, particularly with African-American audiences. Opening against the animated Uglydolls and comedy Long Shot, this has a legit shot at having the healthiest debut in the low to mid teens.

The Intruder opening weekend prediction: $15.2 million

For my UglyDolls prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/23/uglydolls-box-office-prediction/

For my Long Shot prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/24/long-shot-box-office-prediction/

Kin Box Office Prediction

Labor Day weekend brings the sci-fi pic Kin, which hopes to bring in a family and teen audience that have had plenty to see this summer. It’s not based on a YA novel, but it could pass as such an adaptation. That may not be great news as the genre seems to be dwindling.

Jonathan and Josh Baker direct with a cast including Jack Reynor, Myles Truitt, Zoe Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid, and James Franco as a crime lord (the guy is certainly eclectic).

The Lionsgate release seems to be flying well under the radar and the Labor Day release date doesn’t inspire much confidence in its prospects. This is typically a slow time of year on the box office calendar and I’m getting a bit of a Darkest Minds vibe here.

That means I foresee a holiday debut in the mid single digits.

Kin opening weekend prediction: $3.9 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Searching prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/14/searching-box-office-prediction/

For my Operation Finale prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/21/operation-finale-box-office-prediction/

For my Ya Veremos prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/27/ya-veremos-box-office-prediction/

For my The Little Stranger prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/27/the-little-stranger-box-office-prediction/

I Can Only Imagine Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (03/14/18): I am revisiting my estimate considerably upwards to $5.4 million

Playing in theaters next weekend is the faith based drama I Can Only Imagine, which tells the story behind the making of the most popular Christian contemporary song of all time. The song shares the title of the film from the band MercyMe with J. Michael Finley as lead singer Bart Millard. Costars include Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, and Trace Adkins. The directors are Andrew and Jon Erwin, makers of Woodlawn and MomsNight Out.

I’ve yet to see a theater count for Imagine, but I would guess it’ll be relatively low at about 1,000. This genre has shown the ability to over perform estimates. That said, this one seems to be generating rather meager buzz. The Erwin brothers have seen their previous two outings make about $4 million for their starts. I’ll predict Imagine doesn’t quite reach that number.

I Can Only Imagine opening weekend prediction: $5.4 million

For my Tomb Raider prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/03/06/tomb-raider-box-office-prediction/

For my Love, Simon prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/03/07/love-simon-box-office-prediction/

A Dog’s Purpose Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (Saturday, 01/21, 4:56pm): As mentioned below, I have decided to reconsider and revise my opening weekend prediction for A Dog’s Purpose due to the swirling controversy regarding it. I am revising down from $17.9 million to just $10.3 million now.

Blogger’s Update (Wednesday, 01/18, 6:24pm): The prediction below for A Dog’s Purpose was written prior to the Wednesday, January 18th allegations in the media involving animal mistreatment on set. Obviously, this story could alter my estimate and I will be monitoring the story as it progresses. I will keep my current projection for the time being, but it is likely to change. I will post further updates as needed.

A Dog’s Purpose is based on a very successful 2010 bestseller by W. Bruce Cameron and the film version hits theaters next weekend. Chronicling the existence of one of man’s best friends through various incarnations, Purpose comes from director Lasse Hallstrom, who was nominated for an Oscar over 30 years ago for Swedish pic My Life as a Dog (he also made The Cider House Rules and Chocolat). Human stars here include Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad, and Peggy Lipton (yep, the one from TV’s “The Mod Squad”!).

This adaptation could be rather successful in bringing in a female audience (and dog lovers for that matter). The well-known source material should help and I even think it will likely surpass the opening weekend of its main competitor, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. 

I’ll estimate that Purpose reaches in the mid to high teens for a decent debut. That’s only about half of what Marley and Me made in 2008, but it’s still pretty doggone good.

A Dog’s Purpose opening weekend prediction: $10.3 million

**REVISED NUMBER BASED ON EVENTS

For my Resident Evil: The Final Chapter prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/18/resident-evil-the-final-chapter-box-office-prediction/

For my Gold prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/18/gold-box-office-prediction/

 

Truth Movie Review

James Vanderbilt’s Truth is of the genre that All the President’s Men is, even employing one of its stars, Robert Redford. It, too, tells the tale of a President of the United States under severe scrutiny. Both show the tremendous pressure and hard work of journalists and their duty to get the story right. The main difference among the numerous similarities? Whereas Redford’s 1976 Oscar nominated picture was confident enough to mostly eschew unneeded overdramatization, Truth is not. It’s a hindrance that causes it to pale in comparison.

Set against the backdrop of George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection, the film focuses on CBS News and its digging into the President’s three decades old plus National Guard record. Producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) works for 60 Minutes and is especially close to the network’s veteran news anchor Dan Rather (Redford). The pair and their colleagues believe they have a credible story covering lapses in Bush’s attendance in the Guard – a time when Vietnam was in its darkest days. A story is aired just months before the reelect, but potential inconsistencies rise up immediately. Some are from serious sources. Others come from the burgeoning blogosphere.

Truth explores the inner workings of news today, corporate politics, real politics, and journalistic integrity. These are subjects that have been covered before and covered more satisfactorily. I’ve already mentioned Redford’s classic from 40 years ago. There’s also Network. And Spotlight. The pic’s flaws don’t lie with the acting, even though this will not rate among Blanchett’s best performances. Redford gives a passable take on Rather. Their coworkers, including Topher Grace as a freelancer and Dennis Quaid as a military affairs expert, aren’t given any time for their characters to be anything other than caricatures.

Blanchett is a tremendous actress but there are times when even she seems to be overdoing it. Not as much as Truth itself, though. From its sweeping score to reaction shots of Mary’s young child watching her work in awe on the tube, Truth often seems distracted by its own perceived virtue instead of just sticking to the facts. The subject matter is by its nature fascinating and there are occasionally well dramatized touches here. Yet President’s Men and Spotlight were confident enough in their stories to simply tell them to intriguing results. Truth rather tries too hard and often rings false for it.

** (out of four)

New York Critics Go Caroling

In 2002, the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) went gaga over Todd Haynes’s drama Far From Heaven, bestowing it with their award for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Dennis Quaid), and Supporting Actress (Patricia Clarkson). Yet when it came time for Oscar nominations, none of those picks were reflected with the Academy.

Thirteen years later, could history repeat itself again for Mr. Haynes? It’s a worthy question as the NYFCC have showered love upon his latest project, Carol. The 1950s drama centering on a lesbian relationship won big at their ceremony today, taking Picture and Director. The Big Apple critics appreciation for Carol gives it a somewhat needed boost for its Oscar chances. When it screened at film festivals earlier this year, it seemed close to a lock for Picture recognition but its stock has waned some.

As I did yesterday with the National Board of Review’s selections, it’s important to show you how often each critics organization matches what the Academy ends up doing. With the NYFCC, 12 out of their last 15 selections for Best Picture (the ones in the 21st century) have gone onto Oscar nominations in the same category. The exceptions were the aforementioned Heaven, 2001’s Mulholland Drive, and 2006’s United 93.

The same 12/15 ratio extends to the Directing category in which winners were Academy snubbed. Besides Haynes, the others were Mike Leigh for 2008’s Happy Go Lucky and Kathyn Bigelow for 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty.

I believe it’s much more likely that Carol manages a slot in the Picture race come Oscar nomination time than Haynes himself, but we’ll see how that plays out well as my predictions continue to be updated on the blog.

As for the acting races – the NYFCC hit us with two surprises. The biggest was Supporting Actress where they selected Kristen Stewart for her work in the little seen Clouds of Sils Maria. While she’s been mentioned as a possibility, very few prognosticators (this one included) have picked her for a Oscar nomination. I still don’t see it happening, but this win does raise her profile for sure. It’s also worth noting that only 2 of the last 15 NYFCC recipients in this category haven’t received Academy attention (the aforementioned Clarkson for Heaven and Maria Bello in 2005’s A History of Violence). Even more surprising is that the NYFCC didn’t honor Rooney Mara’s work in Carol, since many consider her the most likely winner for the gold statue.

The other surprise was Best Actor, which went to Michael Keaton in Spotlight. The shocker was the category he won for because Mr. Keaton is being campaigned for in Supporting Actor and not lead. It’s highly likely that the Bat/Birdman will be recognized come Oscar time… just not in the race where the NYFCC feted him. Of note: three past winners in the 21st century didn’t get Oscar nods: Paul Giamatti in 2004’s Sideways and the last two recipients: Robert Redford for All is Lost and Timothy Spall as Mr. Turner.

Actress went to Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn and her Academy nod seems pretty much assured. She joins Room‘s Brie Larson (who won the NBR yesterday), Joy‘s Jennifer Lawrence, and Carol‘s Cate Blanchett as front runners for award attention into the future. As with Actor, three winners out of the past 15 didn’t receive Academy attention: Hope Davis for 2003’s American Splendor, Sally Hawkins for 2008’s Happy Go Lucky, and Rachel Weisz for 2012’s The Deep Blue Sea. 

Supporting Actor went to Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies and he’s also a strong contender in the big race. It is worth noting that the NYFCC has actually picked five out of their last 15 winners that never made it to the Academy’s red carpet: the previously mentioned Quaid in 2002, Steve Buscemi for Ghost World (2001), Eugene Levy in A Mighty Wind (2003), Albert Brooks in Drive (2011), and Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike and Bernie (2012).

Bottom line: a solid day for Carol and we’ll see if the momentum keeps up as my analysis for the 2015 awards season keeps rolling along…