Oscar Watch: Dumbo

Disney’s live-action version of their 1941 classic Dumbo arrives in theaters on Friday and the review embargo was lifted today. Tim Burton’s take on the flying elephant is the first of four Mouse Factory updates on their animated tales hitting screens in 2019.

The advance word out is quite mixed with a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 51%. No one seriously expected this would contend for Best Picture, but previous Disney updates in recent years have fared well with Oscar voters with technical nods.

Burton’s own Alice in Wonderland in 2010 won Best Art Direction (now Production Design) and Costume Design and landed a nomination in Visual Effects. Costume Design nods were received by Maleficent in 2014 and by Cinderella the following year. In 2016, The Jungle Book emerged victorious in Visual Effects. Beauty and the Beast nabbed nods for Production and Costume Design.

That’s a solid track record. Where’s that leave Dumbo? Tough to say at this juncture. Even the negative skewing reviews have praised the visuals. Yet there will be a lot of competition and that includes the other three live-action updates arriving later: Aladdin, The Lion King, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Even more potentially serious competitors include Avengers: Endgame and the next Star Wars.

Costume Design and Production Design remain more realistic possibilities. Bottom line: Dumbo could continue the recent tradition of this sub genre getting down the line category attention, but competition will be key. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Dumbo Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (03/27): My Dumbo prediction has dropped from $65.6 million to $55.6 million.

With Tim Burton at the helm, Disney’s live-action rendering of Dumbo flies into theaters next weekend. The elephant tale (based on the Mouse Factory’s 1941 animated feature) is headlined by Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, and plenty of CG effects.

This is the first live-action remake from the studio in two years, following up on the monstrous success that was Beauty and the Beast. That lapse in their sub genre won’t apply to 2019 as there’s three more on the way – Aladdin in May, The Lion King in July, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil this October.

It’s also not Burton’s first foray remaking Disney classics. 2010’s Alice in Wonderland was a huge hit that grossed $116 million for its start. When it comes to Beauty, Aladdin, and Lion King, they have the advantage of being based on 90s efforts as opposed to a title released 50 years prior.

Expectations for Dumbo aren’t quite as lofty and they’re in the $60-$70 million premiere range. That sound about right and I’ll put it right in the middle of those numbers, similar to what Cinderella achieved in 2015.

Dumbo opening weekend prediction: $55.6 million

For my Hotel Mumbai prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/hotel-mumbai-box-office-prediction/

For my Unplanned prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/unplanned-box-office-prediction/

For my The Beach Bum prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/the-beach-bum-box-office-prediction/

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Box Office Prediction

Nearly two years ago, Tim Burton had the second lowest grossing feature of his career (after 1994’s Ed Wood) with Big Eyes. To cushion the blow, that particular film was a low-budget drama that wasn’t expected to rank among his array of blockbusters.

Next weekend, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children finds Burton back in more familiar territory. It’s a fantastical adventure based on a well-known property (Ransom Riggs’s 2011 bestseller) with dark themes. Sounds like a Burton flick to me! Eva Green plays the title character with a supporting cast that includes Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Judi Dench, and Samuel L. Jackson.

It’s been six years since Mr. Burton has had a massive hit – 2010’s Alice in Wonderland (he didn’t direct this year’s flop of a sequel). This is also his first blockbuster hopeful not headlined by Johnny Depp in a little while. Even though it’s based on a novel with a solid following, I’m not convinced this will break out at the box office with its lack of star power and a director whose box office potency has waned.

My Peculiar estimate has this not reaching $20 million. This is under some other prognosticators expectations and would be considered a disappointment for Burton and company.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children opening weekend prediction: $19.6 million

For my Deepwater Horizon prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/09/21/deepwater-horizon-box-office-prediction/

For my Masterminds prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/09/21/masterminds-box-office-prediction/

For my Queen of Katwe prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/09/23/queen-of-katwe-box-office-prediction/

300: Rise of an Empire Box Office Prediction

300: Rise of an Empire is a big question mark as it arrives in theaters this Friday. Will the sequel bring in a large audience almost exactly seven years after the original was a surprise smash?

Zack Snyder’s 300 shocked prognosticators in 2007 with a gargantuan $70 million debut on its way to a $210 million domestic total. The conventional wisdom is this follow-up won’t come close to that kind of performance and I agree with that. Seven years is a long time between sequels and I’m skeptical that there’s massive pent up anticipation for this.

Having said that, the name brand alone should get it beyond the $30 million mark for an opening. I say should because I’m still a little unsure. A $25 million debut wouldn’t shock me… and that would considered a pretty major letdown for Warner Bros. This was originally scheduled to premiere last summer, but was pushed back. The original director Snyder returns as producer and cowriter with Noam Murro taking over behind the camera duties. Newcomers to the franchise Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green headline with holdovers from the first Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro costarring.

300 should find itself in a battle with the animated Mr. Peabody & Sherman for #1. This could certainly capitalize on the goodwill that the first generated and blast past $40 million. However, I’m going towards the low end of predictions and saying it just gets passed the $30M range.

300: Rise of an Empire opening weekend prediction: $31.1 million

For my Mr. Peabody & Sherman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/03/02/mr-peabody-sherman-box-office-prediction/