May 27-30 Box Office Predictions

***And a final update for Top Gun: Maverick as my prediction rises again to $113.4 million for the three-day and $138 million for the four-day. That it gives it the #2 all-time Memorial Day for both frames.

***Blogger’s Note: Another day, another significant update raising my Top Gun: Maverick prediction. Now at $103.7M for the three-day and $124.4M for the four-day.

**Blogger’s Note (05/24): My Top Gun: Maverick prediction has risen from a $75.6M and $98.8M three and four-day start to $86.6M and $104.9M

Tom Cruise is poised to land his largest debut of all time over this Memorial Day weekend with the long in development sequel Top Gun: Maverick as the animated The Bob’s Burgers Movie is also served up. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:

Top Gun: Maverick Box Office Prediction

The Bob’s Burgers Movie Box Office Prediction

Arriving 36 years after the first entry made Cruise a superstar, Maverick is generating terrific buzz. For the three-day portion of the holiday frame, it needs to surpass the $64 million earned by 2005’s War of the Worlds in order to set a personal best start. I have it achieving that feat with over $10 million to spare with a gross just shy of $100 million for the Friday to Monday haul.

As for Burgers, it could find itself locked in a race with Downton Abbey: A New Era for third.

After a three-week reign atop the charts, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will drop to second with The Bad Guys likely rounding out the top five.

Here’s how I see for the four-day frame and I’m throwing in the three-day projections for the newbies:

1. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $138 million (Friday to Monday); **$113.4 million (Friday to Sunday)

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $22.1 million

3. The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million (Friday to Monday); **$9.2 million (Friday to Sunday)

4. Downton Abbey: A New Era

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

5. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

Box Office Results (May 20-22)

The good doctor held off competition for the third week as Multiverse took in $32.3 million, ahead of my $27.8 million projection. The MCU juggernaut is up to $342 million thus far.

Downton Abbey: A New Era settled for second with $16 million, a bit shy of my $18.4 million take. That’s on the lower end of expectations and significantly under the $31 million that its 2019 predecessor earned out of the gate.

The Bad Guys was third with $6.1 million, in range with my $5.7 million prediction for $74 million overall.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 took fourth with $4 million (I said $3.5 million) to bring its impressive tally to $181 million.

Alex Garland’s Men failed to attract an audience with $3.2 million for fifth. I was a little more generous at $4.1 million. Despite some decent reviews, the Cinemascore grade was a putrid D+.

Everything Everywhere All at Once was sixth with $3.1 million compared to my $2.7 million guesstimate. With $52 million in the bank, it is now A24’s highest domestic earner.

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

May 20-22 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Update (05/18): It appears as if Alex Garland’s Men will premiere wide on approximately 2500 screens. Due to that, my $4.1 million puts it in fourth place and that change is reflected below. For my detailed prediction post, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2022/05/18/men-box-office-prediction/

 

The aristocrats of the acclaimed PBS series are back on the big screen as Downton Abbey: A New Era is the only newcomer this weekend.

You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Downton Abbey: A New Era Box Office Prediction

Unless it seriously over performs, the sequel should place second to another one – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in its third outing (more on its sophomore frame below). I’m figuring Madness should dip in the mid 50s with Abbey posting a high teens gross.

The rest of the top five should consist of holdovers The Bad Guys, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Everything Everywhere All at Once with the bomb Firestarter falling out after its tepid start.

Here’s how I see it looking:

1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $27.8 million

2. Downton Abbey: A New Era

Predicted Gross: $18.4 million

3. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

4. Men

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

5. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $2.7 million

Box Office Results (May 13-15)

The MCU kept rolling as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness took in $61.7 million to bring its total to $292 million. In 10 days, it has easily surpassed the $232 million earned domestically by its 2016 predecessor. That said, it fell below my $66.8 million projection and its 67% decline is hefty one for the studio. All in all – Marvel is still minting $$$.

The Bad Guys held the two spot with $7 million, right in line with my $7.1 million estimate for a four-week take of $66 million.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was third with $4.6 million, on pace with my $4.3 million prediction as it now stands at $175 million.

The aforementioned Firestarter (which was also available on Peacock), a remake of a 1984 pic based on a Stephen King novel, failed to generate any heat. Its fourth place haul was a measly $3.8 million. I was more generous at $6.5 million.

Everything Everywhere All at Once rounded out the top five with $3.3 million (I said $3.1 million) as the future Oscar contender has amassed $47 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was sixth with $2.5 million (I went with $2.7 million) for $90 million as it’s struggling to reach nine digits.

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

May 13-15 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (05/12): Revising Firestarter down to $6.5 million

A different caped crusader set the 2022 opening weekend record with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness dominating the charts. It will reign supreme in its sophomore frame as only the Stephen King adapted horror reboot Firestarter debuts this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Firestarter Box Office Prediction

I’m giving Firestarter (also available via Peacock) the benefit of the doubt by putting it in double digits considering its genre often over performs. That should easily give it the #2 slot behind MCU’s mystical doc.

Look for The Bad Guys and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to slide a spot to 3rd and 4th. The five spot could be close between Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and Everything Everywhere All at Once. 

The real question is how far Multiverse drops in its sophomore outing. The Strange sequel received mixed critical reaction that has carried over a bit with audiences. The B+ Cinemascore grade is among the lowest of the franchise. Only Eternals (B) was below it while 2011’s original Thor also received the B+ designation. Due to that factor, I could foresee a low to potentially high 60s range fall.

Here’s how I see the top 6 playing out:

1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $66.8 million

2. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

3. Firestarter 

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

6. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Predicted Gross: $2.7 million

Box Office Results (May 6-8) 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had the #11 largest domestic debut in history, positioning itself between fellow Disney sequels Avengers: Age of Ultron and Incredibles 2. Coming on the heels of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the MCU property amassed $187.4 million. While that didn’t get into top 10 all-time territory like I projected at $208.5 million, it’s still a marvelous haul (especially considering the 2016 original began with $85 million). For the reasons stated above, I do expect a larger than normal MCU decline in the mid 60s.

The Bad Guys, after two weeks in first, was second with $9.5 million. That’s in line with my $10 million estimate as the DreamWorks title has taken in $57 million thus far.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was third with $6 million, a bit under my expected $7.1 million. Overall gross is a sturdy $169 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore continued its underwhelming run with $4.2 million. I was on target as I said $4.3 million. Total is $86 million as it’s hoping to at least eek out $100 million.

Everything Everywhere All at Once rounded out the top five with $3.5 million. I projected a little higher with $4.4 million, but its pleasing tally is up to $41 million.

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

Downton Abbey: A New Era Box Office Prediction

The sprawling cast of Brits is back on screen May 20th in Downton Abbey: A New Era. Based on the popular series that ran on PBS domestically from 2010-2015, Era is the sequel to the 2019 cinematic rendering. Simon Curtis takes over directorial duties from Michael Engler. The familiar returnees include Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, and Samantha Bond. Creator Julian Fellowes handles script duties.

Three years back, Abbey easily opened atop the charts with $31 million and an eventual $96 million gross. This won’t manage a #1 start with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in its third frame. It should certainly nab the runner-up position.

The question is whether it comes close to what its predecessor started with. Forecasts have this only making about half of what part 1 achieved out of the gate. Considering the 2019 experience surpassed projections, I’ll give this a slight benefit of the doubt.

Downton Abbey: A New Era opening weekend prediction: $18.4 million

For my Men prediction, click here:

Men Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Last year, The Power of the Dog scored the most Oscar nominations including Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch. His return as Marvel’s superhero in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hopes to land at least one mention in a category where the MCU has received plenty.

The review embargo lifted today ahead of its Friday premiere and the Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 79% (that’s a match with last summer’s Black Widow). Sam Raimi’s directorial contribution to the world’s biggest franchise, based on some critics and their reservations, really only has a shot at Best Visual Effects.

That’s where 12 previous movies starting with Iron Man and ending with 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Spider-Man: No Way Home have made the final five. Somewhat shockingly, none have won. In the middle of that pack is predecessor Doctor Strange from 2016 (it lost to The Jungle Book).

Considering the original Strange made the cut, Madness could absolutely be in line to follow suit. It’ll need to do so over two forthcoming MCU adventures (Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). None of the Thor pics managed a VE nod and neither did the first Panther. Therefore it strands to reason that this could be the best MCU bet for inclusion in 2022. Like the others, I don’t believe it has a shot to win. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

May 6-8 Box Office Predictions

The summer box office season officially kicks off in the manner it has many times lately… with an expected Marvel Cinematic Universe juggernaut. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks to accomplish some records after previous franchise entry Spider-Man: No Way Home set plenty of its own. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on Benedict Cumberbatch’s return as the mystical doc here:

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Box Office Prediction

My estimate would give Multiverse the 7th largest domestic premiere of all time and the highest ever for the month of May (topping The Avengers). It would be #4 in terms of MCU entries – behind Avengers: Endgame, No Way Home, and Avengers: Infinity War. 

No other film is daring to open against this and family friendly entries The Bad Guys (after two weeks on top) and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 should slide a spot. Everything Everywhere All at Once is holding extremely well from week to week and it could rise to fourth over Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. 

Here’s how I think the top 5 will look:

1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $208.5 million

2. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $10 million

3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $4.4 million

5. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore 

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

Box Office Results (April 29-May 1)

Before Marvel begins its domination, it was a pretty quiet weekend with The Bad Guys repeating in first. The DreamWorks Animation effort made $16.2 million, topping my $14.4 million projection for $44 million in 10 days.

Most holdovers managed to slightly exceed my expectations. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 stayed in second at $11.5 million compared to my $10.8 million call. Total is $161 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore continued its ho-hum run in third with $8.3 million, just above my $7.7 million take. The three-week tally is a disappointing $79 million.

The Northman was fourth in its sophomore outing with $6.3 million. I went with $5.6 million and it’s at $22 million.

Everything Everywhere All at Once actually had a 2% increase with $5.5 million to round out the top five (I said $4.2 million). The A24 Oscar hopeful has made an impressive $35 million.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent was sixth with $3.8 million (I predicted $3.5 million) for $13 million in two weeks.

Finally, Liam Neeson’s streak of low grosses stayed intact as Memory opened in 8th with $3.1 million. That’s in line with his recent (non) earners and just below my $3.3 million projection.

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

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Box Office Prediction

In what Hollywood is hoping looks more like a traditional summer season, it’s the MCU kicking it off with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The 28th feature in the biggest franchise of all is technically the follow-up to 2016’s Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. It is, however, the character’s sixth appearance overall in the cinematic universe with the most recent being December’s massive Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

Speaking of Spidey, Sam Raimi, maker of Tobey Maguire’s 2002-2007 trilogy, directs (taking over from Scott Derrickson). Costars back in the mix are Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. Newcomers to the MCU include Xochitl Gomez and Patrick Stewart (in an undisclosed role that could turn out to be quite familiar).

Madness has the big advantage of following a juggernaut in No Way Home. That has served as an advantage to other MCU properties. For instance, Captain Marvel in 2019 was the follow-up to Avengers: Endgame and it made $153 million out of the gate. That was slightly better than the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel from two years earlier. Assisting Multiverse is that the good Doctor had a sizable part in the previous Spidey adventure.

Five and a half years ago, the first Strange took in $85 million for its start with an eventual domestic haul of $232 million. In the MCU world, it’s way more normal for sequels to outdo their predecessors and that will certainly apply here. It should have no trouble achieving the largest premiere for 2022 – currently held by The Batman at $134 million.

No one is really thinking this will approach the $260 million weekend of No Way Home, but $200 million is definitely feasible. Underestimating the MCU is usually not wise so I’ll say it hits that mark. My projection would get it the 7th largest domestic debut of all time (right behind Jurassic World and just ahead of The Avengers).

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opening weekend prediction: $208.5 million

April 29-May 1 Box Office Predictions

Before Doctor Strange and his Marvel friends dominate the box office next weekend, it should be an unmemorable one as April closes out. The only new release is Liam Neeson’s action thriller Memory and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Memory Box Office Prediction

My meager $3.3 million estimate for Memory (in line with recent Neeson pics) could leave it outside the top five with the family friendly holdovers maintaining the 1-2-3 positions.

The Bad Guys got off to a terrific start (more on that below) and it should easily maintain first position with a drop potentially in the 45-50% range. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore should follow and the 4-5 spots may again be held by The Northman and The Incredible Weight of Massive Talent. Depending on how far Talent falls, it may find itself in a battle for 5th with Memory. However, we also have Everything Everywhere All at Once and it could nab the 5 spot with another meager decline.

And with that, ny take on the weekend’s top 7:

1. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $14.4 million

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

3. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million

4. The Northman

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

6. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million

7. Memory

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

Box Office Results (April 22-24)

DreamWorks Animation had an even bigger than anticipated hit on their hands as The Bad Guys did good business at $23.9 million, easily surpassing my $16.7 million projection. As mentioned, it should have little trouble stealing a second weekend at #1 before the Doctor arrives in May.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 held in second with $15.6 million, right in line with my $15.5 million call. The blockbuster sequel has amassed $146 million in its three weeks of release.

The news got worse for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. It fell from first to third with a steep 67% sophomore drop at $14 million. I was a tad higher at $15.1 million. In what should be the franchise’s last installment (it’s hard to justify fourth and fifth chapters as originally planned), the two-week tally is a mere $67 million. Reaching $100 million domestically is a stretch.

The Viking action drama The Northman slightly exceeded most prognosticators with $12.2 million in fourth. The Robert Eggers directed tale sailed ahead of my $10.3 million prediction. Problem is – its budget is reportedly a massive $90 million.

Nicolas Cage’s meta comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent opened in fifth with a muted $7.1 million, not quite matching my $7.9 million estimate. Despite glowing reviews, it couldn’t quite branch out beyond cinephiles who attended.

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

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…