Blogger’s Update (05/12): Revising my prediction down to $6.5 million
Based on Stephen King’s 1980 novel and a reworking of the 1984 film adaptation starring a young Drew Barrymore, Firestarter hopes to heat up multiplexes on Friday the 13th. Ryan Kiera Armstrong fills Barrymore’s original role as a pyrokinetic kid with Zac Efron, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, and Gloria Reuben among the cast. Keith Thomas directs.
Coming from the Blumhouse label which has produced plenty of horror hits, this will be released simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock, which is still finding its way in the streaming universe. The first Firestarter 38 years ago was not a hot property at the box office as it grossed $17 million. It’s also fair to say that it isn’t considered a genre classic like other King penned cinematic properties.
Horror pics are dangerous to underestimate, but my hunch is that Firestarter may not reach $13 million. The worst case scenario could be a start in the high double digits, but I’ll say it gets a bit beyond that.
Firestarter opening weekend prediction: $6.5 million
For my Downton Abbey: A New Era prediction, click here:
The pitch is a rebooted cinematic version of the Charlie’s Angels franchise, but I suspect its opening gross will be far from perfect. Elizabeth Banks directs and costars with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska in the three lead roles. The supporting cast includes Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, and Patrick Stewart.
In the early 2000s, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu brought the 1970s TV hit to the big screen with McG directing. The first entry in 2000 took in $125 million while the 2003 sequel earned $100 million.
Expectations are not as high this time around. While Stewart has been making the rounds (including an SNL hosting gig), I believe this could fall victim to the franchise fatigue we’ve already witnessed in 2019 with the Men in Black and Terminator series, to name a couple.
I would anticipate a #2 debut behind Ford v Ferrari and I question whether Angels can handle a start of over $20 million… or even $15 million.
Charlie’s Angels opening weekend prediction: $14.2 million
While many filmgoers will choose the X-Men for their Memorial Day weekend entertainment, Warner Bros. attempts some counterprogramming with the rom com Blended which reunites Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The pair already has a couple of box office hits under their belt together with 1998’s The Wedding Singer ($80.2M domestic gross) and 2004’s 50 First Dates ($120.9M domestic gross).
Costarring Joel McHale, Terry Crews, Kevin Nealon, and Shazaam himself Shaquille O’Neal, Blended seems to be flying a bit under the radar with all the blockbusters such as Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past in the marketplace. Sandler’s pictures have been a mixed bag as of late. While last summer’s Grown Ups 2 was a hit with a $41.5M opening, recent pics Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy have disappointed with respective openings of $25M and $13.4M. The inclusion of Barrymore with Sandler could help, as both of their previous efforts are well-regarded. However, trailers and TV spots for Blended have been rather unimpressive in my view.
If Blended managed to reach what Sandler’s last romantic comedy opened at, Warner Bros. should consider that a success. That would be Just Go With It, which debuted with $30.5M in February 2011. Blended will have the advantage of a four day Memorial Day weekend tally and yet I feel it will struggle to gain major traction with audiences. I’m predicting a holiday opening in the quarter century range is the likeliest scenario.
Blended four day opening weekend prediction: $24.9 million
For my X-Men: Days of Future Past prediction, click here:
Just in time for Valentine’s Day 10 years ago on This Day in Movie History – February 13 – Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore once again teamed up for the rom com 50 First Dates. The pair had previously had a hit together six years prior with The Wedding Singer and Dates would continue that streak. The film opened with $39.8 million and went to gross $120 million domestically. The third teaming of Sandler and Barrymore will come out this May with Blended.
As for birthdays, Stockard Channing turns 70 today. She’ll go down in film history as Rizzo in 1978’s Grease, in which she played that high school student at age 34. TV watchers may know her best as First Lady Abbey Bartlet on “The West Wing”. Other notable film roles over the years include Six Degrees of Separation, Up Close&Personal, The First Wives Club, and Practical Magic.
Mena Suvari in 35 today. She became known to moviegoers in the American Pie franchise and as the teenage object of Kevin Spacey’s affection in the Oscar winning American Beauty. Other projects include The Musketeer and Beauty Shop.
As for Six Degrees of Separation (hey- Stockard Channing was in that!) between them:
Stockard Channing was in Anything Else with Jason Biggs
Jason Biggs was in American Pie with Mena Suvari
And that’s today – February 13 – in Movie History!