Breaking In Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (05/10/18): On the eve of its premiere, bumping my estimate from $13.6 million to $17.6 million

Gabrielle Union headlines the thriller Breaking In, out next weekend. Will the movie be able to generate any box office heat or will audiences have a cavalier attitude towards it? The actress plays a single mom caught up in a home invasion situation with her kids. James McTeigue, best known for making 2006’s V for Vendetta, is behind the camera. Costars include Ajiona Alexus, Christa Miller, Jason George, Billy Burke, and Richard Cabral.

The Universal release is currently slated to open on approximately 2300 screens. While it seems to be flying a bit under the radar, it could have enough appeal to female and African-American audiences to post a double digits debut. I’ll predict it manages to do that, which should place it third behind the third weekend of Avengers: Infinity War and the premiere of Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party.

Breaking In opening weekend prediction: $17.6 million

For my Life of the Party prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/05/02/life-of-the-party-box-office-prediction/

Sleepless Box Office Prediction

Based on a 2011 French feature, Sleepless will attempt to bring audiences in when it debuts next weekend. The action thriller stars Jamie Foxx as a crooked cop embroiled in a kidnapping case. Michelle Monaghan (pulling double duty over MLK weekend with Patriots Day as well), T.I., Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, and Gabrielle Union costar.

The Open Roads Films product could face a tough road attracting attention. For starters, competition is fierce with the aforementioned Patriots and Ben Affleck’s Live by Night looking to lure similar viewers. If it weren’t for that level of competition, my estimate here would probably be higher. There’s little doubt Sleepless will come in third among them.

Just how far in third is the real question. I don’t believe trailers and TV spots have done much to indicate this is anything more than a wait for On Demand experience. Foxx has his fans, but I suspect that will not be enough for anything other than a low double digits roll out.

Sleepless opening weekend prediction: $10.3 million

For my Patriots Day prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/04/patriots-day-box-office-prediction/

For my Live by Night prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/04/live-by-night-box-office-prediction/

For my Silence prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/05/silence-box-office-prediction/

For my Monster Trucks prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/05/monster-trucks-box-office-prediction/

For my The Bye Bye Man prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/05/the-bye-bye-man-box-office-prediction/

Almost Christmas Box Office Prediction

Next weekend comes the first Christmas themed title as Almost Christmas presents itself in theaters. The pic comes from director David E. Talbert, maker of 2008’s First Sunday and 2013’s Baggage Claim. The comedic drama focuses on a dysfunctional holiday family gathering with a cast that includes Kimberly Elise, Mo’Nique, Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Jessie Usher, Danny Glover, Nicole Ari Parker, Omar Epps, John Michael Higgins, and Romany Malco.

Christmas should benefit from both its release date and the fact that it could attract a sizable African American audience. One decent comp would be 2007’s This Christmas, which debuted to $17.9 million. A more unlikely comp would be 2013’s The Best Man Holiday, which shocked the industry with an opening of over $30M.

I’ll say Almost Christmas manages a merry start in the high teens range.

Almost Christmas opening weekend prediction: $18.3 million

For my Arrival prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/11/02/arrival-box-office-prediction/

For my Shut In prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/11/02/shut-in-box-office-prediction/

The Birth of a Nation Box Office Prediction

When Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation debuted at the Sundance Film Festival all the way back in January, it garnered red-hot buzz that included awards chatter. Fox Searchlight quickly snatched up the rights and it rolls out in theaters next weekend. The pic tells the true life tale of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner in 1831. Parker directed, produced, wrote, and stars in the $10 million production. Costars include Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, and Penelope Ann Miller.

Since its wildly successful roll out this past winter, Birth has faced an interesting and sometimes troubling journey to the wide release date. While its 82% on Rotten Tomatoes indicates the aforementioned positive critical reaction, the film has seemed to diminish in the view of Oscar forecasters. Whether that’s due to buzz waning or other worthy pictures being screened since then is an open question.

And, yes, there’s the matter of Nate Parker’s personal life stemming from a 1999 rape case and his accuser’s suicide years later. The matter has received significant publicity over the last few months. How the story affects Nation‘s box office performance obviously seems inconsequential considering the larger picture, but it must be taken into consideration for any prediction.

All of those factors have contributed to Birth losing some luster and, truth be told, my opening weekend prediction post Sundance probably would’ve been higher. I’ll predict this manages to get past double digits, but not by much.

The Birth of a Nation opening weekend prediction: $10.5 million

For my The Girl on the Train prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/09/28/the-girl-on-the-train-box-office-prediction/

For my Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/09/28/middle-school-the-worst-years-of-my-life-box-office-prediction/

Keanu Box Office Prediction

The comedic stylings of Key (Keegan-Michael Key) and Peele (Jordan Peele) come to the big screen with Keanu, out next weekend. The R rated laugher centers around a cat theft and our leads getting caught up with some violent criminals. Method Man, Gabrielle Union, Nia Long, Will Forte, Luis Guzman, and, yes, Keanu Reeves costar.

Keanu’s dynamic duo are known for their hit Comedy Central show, which just ended its run last year. Their first film vehicle premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival to solid buzz and its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 75%.

Will audiences follow Key and Peele to the multiplex? If this got to over $20 million in its premiere, Warner Bros would be over the moon. I believe a more likely result is in the mid to high teens.

Keanu opening weekend prediction: $17.6 million

For my Mother’s Day prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/22/mothers-day-box-office-prediction/

For my Ratchet & Clank prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/23/ratchet-clank-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: The Birth of a Nation

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Just one day after the Sundance Film Festival gave us our first 2016 Oscar contender with Manchester by the Sea, the second landed today in a very big way. It arrived in the form of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, which Mr. Parker also cowrote and stars in. Nation tells the story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. Costars include Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Gabrielle Union. The $10 million production reportedly took Parker (a semi well known actor known who’s appeared in Red Tails and Non-Stop) seven years to get off the ground.

At today’s Sundance screening, Nation was greeted with rapturous word of mouth and a prolonged standing ovation. There is expected to be a feeding frenzy among studios to purchase the film’s rights. Expect fervent buzz for this get attention for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Actor with Parker seemingly on his way to becoming a household name.

Bottom line: two days at Sundance have already in January produced two real possibilities come next year at Oscar time.

Top Five Movie Review

Top Five showcases the work of an exceptionally brilliant stand up comedian who at last comes into his own on the silver screen. It took some time, but this is one solid payoff. Chris Rock’s greatest work in his quarter century of fame has always been created by him in the form what he’s accomplished on stage holding a mic. Not on SNL, where he was never used properly. Not in movies, which included him doing watered down bits of his act in the fourth Lethal Weapon and trying to fit into an action comedy with Anthony Hopkins. Even pictures he wrote himself, like the Heaven Can Wait remake Down to Earth and political satire Head of State, contained only glimpses of the edge and wit the star brought to a stage.

So it fits that Rock’s character here, Andre Allen, is a once revered comedian whose once hot film career has stalled. Allen has decided to take on more serious roles and nobody’s buying. They want to see him return for a fourth edition of his Hammy the Bear franchise, which casts him as a wisecracking cop in a bear suit. With no future Hammys on the horizon and a dud of a drama about Haitian slavery called Uprize about to debut, Andre’s life is garnering more attention for his impending nuptials to a reality TV star (Gabrielle Union). Their engagement and marriage is, of course, being shot as its own BRAVO series.

The picture takes place in the time span of one day, as Andre is being tailed by New York Times reporter Chelsea (Rosario Dawson) for a feature piece. She’s not your average interviewer and she manages to ask some probing questions to the actor that are more important than “Were you the class clown?” (though she asks that too). Soon the two are embroiled in occasionally deep and often very humorous discussions on their mutual addictions to alcohol, relationships, family, and fame. And we see Chelsea perhaps spark something in a performer who’s seemingly lost his creative way.

For Top Five to arrive not long after Rock made Grown Ups 2 causes me to wonder if he needed to make this. This is the freshest, most insightful and energetic and likely personal tale he’s ever commited to other than his stand up routine. There are genuine belly laughs yet its shift to a more serious tone in the second half works because the central characters are well developed. His chemistry with Dawson works and her performance is terrific, too.

While most of the action centers on the two leads, Top Five is jam packed with familiar faces from Kevin Hart to Tracy Morgan to Cedric the Entertainer. There are some cameos from unexpected celebs that are too good to spoil. Perhaps the best supporting character is JB Smoove as Andre’s barely needed bodyguard, who eventually really does come in handy.

The only minor quibble here is Hammy the Bear. It might’ve been a smarter move for writer/director Rock to make Andre have a similar film career to his real one. The Hammy thing is, well, kind of hammy and unnecessarily over the top silly in a screenplay that mostly avoids it.

Top Five is about an artist trying to rediscover what makes him special. We’ve always known Chris Rock is a force onstage. This is the first time he’s come darn close to greatness in this format.

***1/2 (out of four)