The Secret Life of Pets 2 Box Office Prediction

Illumination Entertainment is back in the summer blockbuster animation game next weekend with the release of The Secret Life of Pets 2. The follow-up to the 2016 smash has Chris Renaud back in the director’s chair. Returning voices include Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, and  Jenny Slate. Patton Oswalt takes over the lead role of Max after Louis C.K. was dropped after recent controversies. Other familiar faces providing new voiceover work to the franchise include Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, and Harrison Ford.

Three summers ago, the first Pets had a scorching start with a $104 million start and $368 million eventual domestic gross. It’s worth noting that competition on its opening weekend wasn’t as strong as Dark Phoenix will premiere against this. This sequel is garnering reviews in line with its predecessor. Part 1 ended up with a 73% Rotten Tomatoes score while this is at 68%.

I look for this to perform similarly to Illumination’s last two efforts. Despicable Me 3 earned $72 million for its beginning two summers ago and Dr. SeussThe Grinch made $67 million and perhaps a bit under.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 opening weekend prediction: $65.2 million

For my Dark Phoenix prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/30/dark-phoenix-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: The Secret Life of Pets 2

2019 is shaping up to be a year where the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars could be dominated by sequels. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World already opened to raves and seems destined for a nod just like its two predecessors. Disney has Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2 on deck.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is Universal’s shot at Academy recognition. It’s out on June 7, following up on the 2016 animal tale smash hit. Early reviews indicate part deux is an overall improvement in quality. The first Pets achieved a 73% Rotten Tomatoes rating while this currently sits at 91%.

This puts the likely mega blockbuster in contention, but it’ll need to stick around in a competition where the three previously mentioned sequels may well garner more votes. Only time will tell if that’s feasible. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Smurfs: The Lost Village Box Office Prediction

Columbia Pictures hopes that moviegoers have the blues in a good way next weekend when Smurfs: The Lost Village debuts. This is the third pic in the franchise based on the 1980s cartoon and the studio has made a change-up. While 2011’s The Smurfs and its 2013 sequel were a mix of live-action and animation, The Lost Village cuts the human aspect and is of the fully drawn variety. That means Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria are nowhere to be seen, unlike the first two.

Voice over work is provided by familiar faces that include Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Mandy Patinkin, Michelle Rodgriguez, Jack McBrayer, Ellie Kemper, Danny Pudi, Ariel Winter, and Julia Roberts. Kelly Asbury, who handled directorial duties on Shrek 2, is behind the camera.

The 2011 Smurfs was a hit, opening to $35 million with an eventual $142M domestic haul. Part two did not fare as well, premiering to $17 million and $71M overall.

Competition for family audiences is considerable. Beauty and the Beast will still be bringing in the bucks in weekend #4, Powers Rangers will be in its third frame, and The Boss Baby will be entering its sophomore weekend.

That said, I expect The Lost Village to outdo what the second movie did out of the gate. I anticipate an opening in the high teens to low 20s. That likely means a third place showing behind Baby and Beauty. Whether or not that’s enough to push forward with planned sequel Smurf & Turf (in which the characters become embroiled in a vicious gangland war) remains to be seen.

Smurfs: The Lost Village opening weekend prediction: $20.4 million

For my Going in Style prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/03/29/going-in-style-box-office-prediction/

For my The Case for the Christ prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/04/03/the-case-for-christ-box-office-prediction/

The Secret Life of Pets Box Office Prediction

Last year, Universal Pictures animation division had a lovely summer when Minions opened to $115 million with an eventual $336 million gross. The studio is hoping that luck strikes again with The Secret Life of Pets, out next Friday. The 3D animated tale features a voice cast led by Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks (pulling double duty this summer with Pixar’s smash Finding Dory), and many others.

Reviews have been kind as it stands at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Trailers and TV spots have been solid and it’s likely that plenty of their kids and their parents will tune in. One factor that could prevent it from topping – say – the $75 million opening of Zootopia earlier this year is the competition factor. While Finding Dory will be in its fourth week and slowing down, it should still get some repeat business. Spielberg’s The BFG will be in its second weekend. Still, I think it’ll come darn close.

That said, I expect Pets to fall somewhere in the range of $65-$75 million, which is a pretty common debut for a high-profile animated feature. The 9th through 19th top animated premieres have all started out with those numbers. My prediction puts it right outside the top ten at #11 – right between The Simpsons Movie and Shrek Forever After

The Secret Life of Pets opening weekend prediction: $73.7 million

For my Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/29/mike-and-dave-need-wedding-dates-box-office-prediction/

Sex Tape Movie Review

You might think putting two talented comedic performances such as Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in a movie called Sex Tape would pretty much sell itself. It didn’t. When it opened this past summer, it failed to garner audience attention. Now I know why.

Diaz and Segel reunite with their Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan for this uninspired and unfocused farce in which they play married couple Annie and Jay, who’ve let the spark dissipate in their relationship. To get their collective mojo back in gear, they decide to make said film title and, sure enough, it gets released on the infamous “cloud”. The duration of the picture is devoted to them trying to retrieve it back and save their dignity.

The simple premise is probably one that could be mined for humorous results. Yet both Diaz and particularly Segel seem as bored as their characters before they go all Kim and Ray J. Their best friends are played by Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper and this talented duo fail to add much to the proceedings either. In fact, only Rob Lowe provides occasional laughs as a business associate looking to buy Annie’s blog. He’s in full Creepy Rob Lowe mode here and he’s almost as funny as his recent turn in those DirecTV commercials. There’s also a surprise cameo towards the conclusion that falls mostly flat.

Sex Tape is an uncomfortable hodgepodge of forced dark humor with trite sentimental romance. It tries to copy the formula of the original Hangover unsuccessfully by not showing us the sex tape until the end. By that point, the previous 90 minutes have rendered us so turned off that no tape could spice our spirits up.

*1/2 (out of four)

Sex Tape Box Office Prediction

Three summers ago, Bad Teacher performed well with audiences to the tune of a $100 million domestic gross. On Friday, that film’s director Jake Kasdan and its stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel reunite for Sex Tape. The raunchy comedy’s concept is simple: bored married couple makes sex tape to spice things up and it accidentally goes viral. Costars include Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, and Rob Lowe.

Diaz, especially, has proven herself to be a valuable commodity in these types of pictures. Just this spring, The Other Woman got off to a $24 million debut on its way to an $83M domestic haul. And Sex Tape could be more successful in bringing in a male audience as Woman was geared more towards… well, women. Similar types of movies such as No Strings Attached or Friends with Benefits both opened to just shy of $20 million, but this should outdo them.

The most fair comparison for how Sex Tape plays is likely Bad Teacher itself. It opened to $31 million in June 2011 and it’s certainly possible that this could open in the same range. Ultimately I’m predicting it falls just short of that for a solid opening.

Sex Tape opening weekend prediction: $29.1 million

For my The Purge: Anarchy prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/07/13/the-purge-anarchy-box-office-prediction/

For my Planes: Fire & Rescue prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/07/13/planes-fire-rescue-box-office-prediction/