November 15-17 Box Office Predictions

It’s been a distressingly sluggish November at the box office thus far and it might take Frozen II to heat it back up. That doesn’t come out until weekend. For this frame, we have the racing pic and Oscar hopeful Ford v Ferrari with Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the reboot of the Charlie’s Angels franchise with Kristen Stewart, and the Ian McKellen/Helen Mirren thriller The Good Liar. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/05/ford-v-ferrari-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/06/charlies-angels-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/07/the-good-liar-box-office-prediction/

Some estimates have Ford zooming to the top spot with $30 million plus. I’m skeptical. While it should have no trouble hitting #1, I believe mid 20s is the more likely scenario as it hopes to flex strong leg muscle over the holiday season.

Audiences have shown a distaste with unasked for reboots all year and I expect that to continue with Angels, which has failed to generate significant buzz. My low teens projection would guarantee no more editions of this series into the future.

As for Liar, solid reviews and Oscar chatter would’ve helped and it hasn’t achieved either. My $6 million take leaves it outside of the top five.

When it comes to holdovers, Midway was a surprise #1 due to the massive underperforming of Doctor Sleep (more on that below). A dip in the early to mid 40s should put it in fifth.

I expect Playing with Fire and Last Christmas to have the best holds in their sophomore weekends in the 30s region, while Sleep should plummet in the mid 50s or more. This means Sleep may find its way below the high five. I anticipate that being the case and here’s how I envision the weekend:

1. Ford v Ferrari 

Predicted Gross: $24.4 million

2. Charlie’s Angels 

Predicted Gross: $14.2 million

3. Midway

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

4. Playing with Fire 

Predicted Gross: $8.3 million

5. Last Christmas 

Predicted Gross: $7 million

Box Office Results (November 8-10)

It isn’t often that the film you pick to be at #4 tops the charts, but it happened this weekend as Midway led a sleepy frame with $17.8 million. That’s above my $13 million prediction. With a reported budget of $100 million, Lionsgate might not be popping champagne corks. Yet they do have bragging rights.

That World War II pic has Doctor Sleep to thank for its relative success. The Shining sequel was a massive failure with just $14.1 million for second place. That’s considerably under my $24.8 million projection. Warner Bros is fortunate to still be counting that Joker cash because there’s absolutely zero positive way to spin this.

John Cena’s family comedy Playing with Fire surpassed expectations in third with $12.7 million, well above my $7.9 million take. It looks poised for a healthy holiday run.

Speaking of the Yuletide season, rom com Last Christmas opened fourth with $11.4 million. That’s under its anticipated numbers and I had it at $16.9 million. However, with a smallish price tag of $30 million, it too looks for meager declines ahead.

Terminator: Dark Fate plummeted to fifth with $10.8 million compared to my guesstimate of $13.2 million. The highly disappointing two-week tally is $48 million and the $100 million mark domestically appears out of reach.

Joker was sixth with $9.2 million, on pace with my $9.1 million prediction for $313 million overall.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was seventh at $8.4 million (I said $7.2 million) as it nears the century figure at $97 million.

Harriet was eighth in its sophomore outing with $7.4 million (I went with $7.7 million) for $23 million total.

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

November 8-10 Box Office Predictions

It’s a busy weekend at the box office as four new titles enter the marketplace: Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, Paul Feig directed rom com Last Christmas, Roland Emmerich made WWII action pic Midway, and John Cena led family comedy Playing with Fire. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them all here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/29/doctor-sleep-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/30/last-christmas-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/31/midway-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/31/playing-with-fire-box-office-prediction/

Barring a rather major over performance from Christmas, the #1 spot this weekend should go to Doctor Sleep. I’m putting right in its expected range of mid 20s. Reviews are solid though not spectacular and the horror pic may have trouble finding the youth audience that the genre typically depends on. The crowd is likely to skew a bit older due to the classic 1980 Kubrick film it’s following.

There is certainly a shot that Christmas celebrates a higher start than my mid teens projection, but the best hope could be for small drops in the weekends ahead.

Those two newbies seemed destined to hold the 1-2 positions as Terminator: Dark Fate had a dim start last weekend. While I don’t see it dropping in the plus 60s range like Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Men in Black International did over the summer, a mid 50s fall is feasible. That could put it in a close race for third with Midway in the low teens.

Harriet came in on the plus side of its expectations and I foresee a dip in the low to mid 30s. That could put it close to where I expect final newcomer Fire to hit and where the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil earnings are.

With all this activity, let’s expand that top five to eight, shall we?

1. Doctor Sleep 

Predicted Gross: $24.8 million

2. Last Christmas 

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

3. Terminator: Dark Fate 

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

4. Midway 

Predicted Gross: $13 million

5. Joker

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million

6. Playing with Fire 

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

7. Harriet 

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million

8. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

Box Office Results (November 1-3)

The reunification of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton hit #1 as expected, but its premiere was a major disappointment. Dark Fate took in $29 million, well below forecasts (including my $38.1 million take). While that doesn’t quite mark the previous franchise low of 2015’s Genisys at $27 million (which actually hit low 40s in a five-day holiday rollout), it’s clear that the fate of this will be as a big financial loser domestically.

Joker was second with $13.5 million, a touch more than my $12.2 million prediction. Its total is an incredible $299 million.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was close behind in third with $13 million, reaching beyond my $10.2 million projection for an $85 million tally.

As mentioned, Harriet hit its mark (and might have saved Cynthia Erivo’s Oscar chances) with $11.6 million. I was lower at $8.2 million. Look for this to have smallish declines as it achieved an A+ Cinemascore grade.

The Addams Family rounded out the top five at $8.2 million (I said $7 million) for a snappy haul of $85 million.

The weekend’s other newbies both struggled at the bottom of the top ten. Motherless Brooklyn was ninth at just $3.5 million, in line with my $3.2 million prediction. The animated Arctic Dogs was a bad, bad performer in tenth with $2.9 million (less than my $4.5 million projection).

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

Oscar Watch: Doctor Sleep

When it was released nearly 40 years ago in theaters, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was not considered the landmark horror classic that it is today. In fact, the film received zero Oscar nominations. It did score two Razzie nods. That ceremony celebrates the worst in moviemaking each year. Both Kubrick and Shelley Duvall as the terrified wife of Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance were singled out for their (apparently) subpar work.

That seems hard to fathom these days with its standing as one of the genre’s best. This weekend comes Doctor Sleep, the sequel to both Stephen King’s 1977 novel and Kubrick’s picture. Reviews are mostly solid, but not across the board and the Rotten Tomatoes score is at 78%.

Truth be told, Sleep was never expected to be an awards player and reaction so far hasn’t done anything to alter that. There is one potential, if unlikely, exception. Critical buzz has heaped praise on the supporting work of Rebecca Ferguson, who’s said to steal the show as a cult leader with psychic powers.

A performance being recognized in the horror space is quite rare. Just last year, there were numerous calls for Toni Collette to get Best Actress attention in Hereditary. It never happened. Ferguson absolutely needs critics groups to bestow her with wins in order to get anywhere on Academy voters radar. If that occurs, she may have a small shot. If so, she would be the sixth performer Oscar nominated from a King adaptation: Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie in Carrie, Kathy Bates (who won for Misery), Morgan Freeman for The Shawshank Redemption, and Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile.

Bottom line: Ferguson needs a whole lot of outside help to be a factor in the Supporting Actress derby and I wouldn’t count on it. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Midway Box Office Prediction

Known for his mega budget disaster flicks such as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, director Roland Emmerich tries his hand at a World War II epic next weekend with Midway. Budgeted at $75 million (pretty low considering the reported $165 million price tag for his 2016 dud sequel Independence Day: Resurgence), the cast includes Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Woody Harrelson.

I do not expect this to be Emmerich’s Saving Private Ryan or Dunkirk. Those WWII efforts had critical acclaim and Oscar buzz. This does not. There will be competition for the adult and action crowd with the debut of Doctor Sleep and second frame for Terminator: Dark Fate.

IMAX elevated pricing could help a bit, but I doubt it. My suspicion is that Midway posts middling to poor numbers in the low teens for an inauspicious start.

Midway opening weekend prediction: $13 million

For my Doctor Sleep prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/29/doctor-sleep-box-office-prediction/

For my Last Christmas prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/30/last-christmas-box-office-prediction/

For my Playing with Fire prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/31/playing-with-fire-box-office-prediction/

Doctor Sleep Box Office Prediction

Doctor Sleep hopes to shine at the box office next weekend. The horror pic is not just an adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 novel, which is the legendary author’s sequel to his 1977 work The Shining. It also serves as a follow-up to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 classic. Mike Flanagan, who’s adapted King before with Netflix’s Gerald’s Game, is behind the camera. Ewan McGregor stars as Dan Torrance, the adult version of the child that Jack Nicholson tormented almost 40 years ago. Costars include Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Bruce Greenwood, and Cliff Curtis.

There’s no doubt that the cinematic version of The Shining has cemented its status as a genre landmark (even though King himself is famously not a big fan). The author has praised this and early word of mouth based off screenings is positive.

That said, 39 years is a long time ago. Interestingly, there’s a comp to be considered with 2017’s Blade Runner 2049. That sequel was also following an early 80s picture with a sterling reputation. Yet it came in well below expectations with a $31.5 million domestic premiere. Horror viewers tend to skew young, so it’s a legitimate question as to their affinity for the 1980 predecessor.

With all that considered, I’ll predict the Doctor is good for a mid 20s showing. This might be appointment viewing for some, but I’m skeptical it reaches over $30 million.

Doctor Sleep opening weekend prediction: $24.8 million

For my Last Christmas prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/30/last-christmas-box-office-prediction/

For my Midway prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/31/midway-box-office-prediction/

For my Playing with Fire prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/31/playing-with-fire-box-office-prediction/