Oscar Watch: Aladdin

Just a day before its theatrical release, Disney’s live-action update of Aladdin had its review embargo lifted. The big-budget fantasy, which casts Will Smith in the genie role made iconic by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated feature, could’ve certainly fared worse. Based upon fears from a poorly received first trailer, some wondered if the pic would be a disaster. Most critics, while certainly mixed with some negative, haven’t been too harsh. It stands at 60% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Particular praise has gone to the performances of Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, who respectively play the title character and Princess Jasmine.

When it comes to these updates of studio classics, many in the past decade have scored technical nods. This includes Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast. In 2019, Aladdin will find itself competing for space with three other Disney live-action renderings: the already released Dumbo, this summer’s The Lion King, and this winter’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Don’t be surprised if The Lion King gets the lions share of attention.

That said, Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling could be the two best possibilities here. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Aladdin Box Office Prediction

The second of four live-action renderings of Disney animated features in 2019, Aladdin is wishing for bountiful box office returns over Memorial Day weekend. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the musical fantasy adventure casts Will Smith as the genie in a role made iconic in 1992 by Robin Williams. In the title role is Mena Massoud with Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. Costars include Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad, and Billy Magnussen.

Reaction to the teaser was mixed at best. The full trailer was better received. The film follows this spring’s Dumbo, which was a bit of a disappointment with a $45 million opening gross. The Lion King will follow later this summer with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in the year’s fourth quarter.

While there’s little doubt Aladdin will rule the holiday frame, it’s got a wide range of possibilities. The Mouse Factory’s largest start for one of its reimaginings was 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, which roared to $174 million. Don’t expect anywhere near that kind of number. Some forecasts are putting this in the $100 million four-day ballpark, but I have serious doubts about that.

I could actually see this performing similarly to Mr. Smith’s other Memorial Day opener – 2012’s MIB 3, which earned $69 million. For a Disney comp, there’s 2015’s Cinderella with its $67 million haul. Given that there’s an extra day involved, I’ll bump Aladdin up slightly.

Aladdin opening weekend prediction: $74.8 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Brightburn prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/15/brightburn-box-office-prediction/

For my Booksmart prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/17/booksmart-box-office-prediction/

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Box Office Prediction

Director Guy Ritchie has, in recent years, brought back Sherlock Holmes to pleasing box office results and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to less than pleasing returns. Next weekend comes his take on another well-known character as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword debuts.

Charlie Hunnam is the title character in this adventure epic that costars Jude Law, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana. The Warner Bros production comes with a budget just north of $100 million.

The last time the legend of King Arthur was on the screen in the summer was 13 years ago and the result was a flop. Antoine Fuqua’s take that starred Clive Owen and Keira Knightley managed just a $15 million opening weekend and $51M eventual domestic gross.

Legend of the Sword should fair better, but by how much? Well, there is a considerable roadblock with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 being in its second weekend. Poor reviews won’t help. I’ll predict this gets to low to mid 20s, which could put it in a battle for second place with Snatched (though Sword is getting the edge).

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opening weekend prediction: $24.4 million

For my Snatched prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/05/03/snatched-box-office-prediction/

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Box Office Prediction

A summer action pic based on a popular 1960s spy TV show? No, not Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but The Man from U.N.C.L.E. which opens next Friday. Don’t expect this to reach close to Rogue numbers. Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie is behind the camera with Man of Steel Henry Cavill and Lone Ranger Armie Hammer in the leads. Ex Machina’s Alicia Vikander and Hugh Grant are among the supporting players.

While the marketing campaign has been fairly robust, it’s hard to see U.N.C.L.E. breaking through in any significant way. Straight Outta Compton, debuting the same day, appears poised for a splashy start while Fantastic Four will be entering weekend #2 with Rogue Nation likely doing pretty strong biz in its third frame. None of the stars here are capable of opening a picture and familiarity with the TV show from 50 years is limited.

Add that up and I’ll predict this $75 million budgeted effort doesn’t reach $20 million out of the gate.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million

For my Straight Outta Compton prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/08/06/straight-outta-compton-box-office-prediction/