Horror pics have faced a tough road so far in 2020 as The Grudge, The Turning, Gretel & Hansel, and Fantasy Island have all posted lackluster debuts. This weekend, I don’t see the trend stopping with Brahms: The Boy II. I do see it changing next Friday with The Invisible Man. From director Leigh Whannell (who recently made Insidious: Chapter 3 and Upgrade), this is an update of the H.G. Wells novel that was turned into a classic 1933 James Whale tale. Elisabeth Moss (who co-starred in last year’s Us) headlines a cast that includes Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, and Harriet Dyer.
This project was originally intended as a vehicle for Johnny Depp as part of Universal’s plans for a franchise that began with 2017’s The Mummy. When that pic brought in less than expected returns, the monster series was scrapped. The Invisible Man has undergone a significant transformation with Blumhouse co-producing. Per usual with that production company, the budget is tiny (a reported $7 million).
Early word-of-mouth is strong with screening members reporting a tense and effective crowd pleaser. Whannell appears to be a filmmaker on the upswing and Moss certainly has her fans from The Handmaid’s Tale and more.
I believe Invisible will be quite visible on the radar screens of genre moviegoers and break the streak of scary disappointments over the past few weeks. A gross of over $30 million might be the result.
The Invisible Man opening weekend prediction: $33.8 million
Released four years ago, horror pic The Boy managed to gross its budget in the first three days of release. Even though audiences and critics were generally unimpressed, we now have the sequel Brahms: The Boy II out next weekend. William Brent Bell is back in the director’s chair with Katie Holmes in the lead. Costars include Ralph Ineson and Owain Yeoman.
Originally slated for last summer and then December, Brahms looks to cater to fright fest fans who have shunned their offerings thus far in 2020. The Grudge opened to $11.4 million and that middling number was a high point. The Turning followed with $6.9 million and then Gretel & Hansel with $6.1 million.
The Boy made $10.8 million for its start in January 2016 with an eventual $35 million domestic gross. I just don’t see much anticipation for the follow-up and will predict it begins with just over half of its predecessor’s number. For horror enthusiasts, it looks like the following weekend’s The Invisible Man will be the first genre success of the year. Don’t count on Brahms to be much of one.
Brahms: The Boy II opening weekend prediction: $5.5 million
For my The Call of the Wild prediction, click here:
The first full weekend of February features the Oscars on Sunday evening and an Academy nominee will certainly have the #1 picture domestically. Margot Robbie (nominated in Supporting Actress for Bombshell) headlines the only newcomer – her DC Comics spin-off Birds of Prey, featuring her demented Harley Quinn character. You can peruse my detailed prediction post here:
My mid 50s estimate puts it in first by a mile. The rest of the top five should consist of holdover action fare (Bad Boys for Life and potential Best Picture winner 1917) and family friendly material (Dolittle and Jumanji: The Next Level).
Here’s how I think that top 5 will look:
1. Birds of Prey
Predicted Gross: $55.6 million
2. Bad Boys for Life
Predicted Gross: $9.8 million
Predicted Gross: $7.1 million
Predicted Gross: $4.8 million
5. Jumanji: The Next Level
Predicted Gross: $4.5 million
Box Office Results (January 31-February 2)
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence spent a third frame at #1 as Bad Boys for Life took in $17.6 million, a bit under my $19.8 million projection. The tally is up to $148 million.
1917 was second with $9.4 million compared to my $11 million take. The multiple Oscar nominee stands at $119 million.
Dolittle was third with $7.5 million (I said $6.9 million) as the troubled production has made $55 million.
The highest newcomer of the weekend (somewhat unexpectedly) is the horror flick Gretel & Hansel, opening in fourth with $6.1 million. That’s ahead of my $5.1 million forecast.
Jumanji: The Next Level was right behind in fifth with $6 million (I went with $5.6 million) for $291 million total.
In sixth was the second outing for Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen with $5.6 million. My guess? $5.6 million! $20 million is the overall gross.
Finally, the Blake Lively thriller The Rhythm Section tanked with $2.7 million in 10th place. I was way higher at $6.5 million.
Blogger’s Note (01/29): Revising my The Rhythm Section projection from $8 million down to $6.5 million and that means I’m taking it from 3rd to 4th place
Super Bowl weekend at the box office is usually a sluggish one and this year should be no different. Two titles premiere with the Blake Lively spy thriller The Rhythm Section and Brothers Grimm horror reimagining Gretel & Hansel. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:
Let’s start with Gretel & Hansel. It’s been a rough year already for horror flicks (see The Turning below) and I don’t expect this to change that. My $5.1 million estimate puts it outside of the top five.
As for Rhythm, I believe it will fail to reach double digits and that probably means a third place showing behind two-week champ Bad Boys for Life and Oscar front runner 1917. In its third frame, the disappointing Dolittle should drop to fourth and I’m actually predicting a tie for fifth between holiday holdover Jumanji: The Next Level and The Gentlemen in its sophomore outing.
And with that, my top 6 forecast for a weekend where grosses should be really soft in Kansas City and San Francisco (and Miami) on Sunday:
1. Bad Boys for Life
Predicted Gross: $19.8 million
Predicted Gross: $11 million
Predicted Gross: $6.9 million
4. The Rhythm Section
Predicted Gross: $6.5 million
5. Jumanji: The Next Level
Predicted Gross: $5.6 million
6. The Gentlemen
Predicted Gross: $5.6 million
Box Office Results (January 24-26)
Bad Boys for Life easily held the top spot in its second weekend with a robust $34 million, topping my $31.1 million prediction. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence threequel has amassed $120 million in its first ten days. For context, the second Boys in 2003 took in $138 million for its whole domestic run.
1917 was second with $15.9 million, in line with my $16.4 million take. The WWI epic has crossed the century mark at $103 million at it continues to build awards momentum for the following weekend.
Dolittle was third with $12.1 million (I was right there at $12.4 million) for an underwhelming two-week tally of $44 million.
Guy Ritchie’s crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey had the best debut in fourth at $10.6 million, just ahead of my $9.6 million projection. That’s pretty much right in line with expectations.
Jumanji: The Next Level rounded out the top five with $7.7 million and I incorrectly had it outside the high five. Total is $283 million as the triple century mark looks achievable.
Finally, critically drubbed horror pic The Turning was sixth with a weak $6.9 million showing. I was higher at $9 million. To add insult to injury, audiences hated it as it was marked with a rare F Cinemascore grade. That’s the second this year after The Grudge.
Another film version of the grim German fairy tale hits theaters next weekend with Gretel & Hansel. The fantasy horror flick comes from director Oz Perkins and he’s the son of Norman Bates himself – the late Psycho star Anthony Perkins. Sophia Lillis, Sam Leakey, Charles Babalola, and Alice Krige lead the cast.
This offering comes six years after Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton bowed in late January to a $19 million premiere. The inversely titled 2020 interpretation is not anticipated to get anywhere near that. For one thing, we just saw a version of the this in 2013. There’s also been plenty of horror pics for audiences to choose from recently.
Considering that, I believe double digits is highly unlikely and mid single digits is most probable.
Gretel & Hansel opening weekend prediction: $5.1 million