Bleed for This Box Office Prediction

We’ve seen a number of films about the sweet science over the past few years and another one hits theaters next weekend as Bleed for This debuts. The true story tells the tale of pugilist Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), who looks to return to the ring after a debilitating accident. Ben Younger, who directed 2000’s well-regarded Boiler Room, followed it up with the less regarded Uma Thurman/Meryl Streep rom com Prime, and hadn’t made a movie since – is behind the camera. Costars include Aaron Eckhart, Ciaran Hinds, Katey Sagal, and Ted Levine.

Bleed debuted at the Telluride Film Festival in September to generally positive reaction. It’s at 77% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. The boxing genre has seen some successes this decade with titles such as The Fighter and Creed. On the other hand, Southpaw and especially August’s Hands of Stone struggled.

This one could face an uphill battle. Luckily for its studio, it comes with a light $6 million budget so a knockout gross isn’t really required. I anticipate a middle single digits start.

Bleed for This opening weekend prediction: $5.8 million

For my Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them prediction, click here:

For my Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk prediction, click here:

For my The Edge of Seventeen prediction, click here:

2016 Early Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing on with my first round of Oscar predictions, day two brings us to Best Supporting Actor. In both 2014 and 2015, my late August/early September initial picks yielded two out the eventual five nominees. Last year, these first picks correctly identified winner Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies.

There are plenty of contenders to list at this early stage. One of the big question marks in plenty of categories is Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a passion project and historical drama that has yet to release a trailer or announce when it’s coming out. It is assumed that it’ll be out in time for Oscar consideration. If so, Liam Neeson is likely to be a contender in this race (and maybe costar Adam Driver).

As mentioned yesterday with Kristen Stewart in Supporting Actress, Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk appears to be a potential major awards player and the beloved Steve Martin could reap the benefits with his first ever acting nod. Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, and Garrett Hedlund are also possibilities.

Michael Shannon could be under consideration for two high-profile fall entries – Jeff Nichols’ Loving or Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

Barry Jenkins’ indie African-American romantic drama Moonlight is getting attention (I predicted Naomie Harris yesterday for Supporting Actress recognition) and Mahershala Ali (known to many as Remy Danton on Netflix’s “House of Cards”) could find himself in the mix.

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is also expected to garner Oscar talk (it’ll screen for critics on the festival circuit in days) and it could feature a breakout role for singer John Legend.

And there’s many more possibilities, including Warren Beatty’s return to the silver screen in Rules Don’t Apply. There’s John Goodman’s already acclaimed work in 10 Cloverfield Lane (though the genre could make him a long shot). Or maybe a first nomination for Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins. And there’s two movies that Aaron Eckhart could find himself being considered for.

As always, the list will be updated in the weeks and months ahead, but for now…


Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

John Legend, La La Land

Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Liam Neeson, Silence

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Other Possibilities:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Kyle Chandler, Manchester by the Sea

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Billy Crudup, 20th Century Women

Robert De Niro, Hands of Stone

Vin Diesel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Adam Driver, Silence

Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This

Aaron Eckhart, Sully

Brendan Gleeson, Live by Night

John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Armie Hammer, The Birth of a Nation

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Stephen Henderson, Fences

Oscar Isaac, The Promise

Nick Offerman, The Founder

Edgar Ramirez, Gold

Michael Shannon, Loving

J.K. Simmons, La La Land

Timothy Spall, Denial

Chris Tucker, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

And there you have it! Best Actress tomorrow…

Box Office Predictions: September 2-5

The 2016 fall movie kicks off in muted fashion (per usual) with two new entries debuting: sci-fi thriller Morgan and period piece romantic drama The Light Between Oceans. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

I’m not expecting either to make much of a splash and I’m predicting Light will just outshine Morgan for the #3 spot. Labor Day weekend has shown in past years that holdovers often don’t lose much of their audience from the previous weekend. In fact, in many cases, its percentage can increase a bit.

This will probably not hold true for current #1 Don’t Breathe, which had a smashing weekend out of the gate (more on that below). Like most horror titles. it should lose a fairly hefty percentage of its opening weekend crowd. Yet it’s likely to remain #1, unless one of the newbies surpasses expectations or Suicide Squad holds even better than forecast. Kubo and the Two Strings likely will round out the top five, though Pete’s Dragon may challenge it for that spot.

As for my blog poll on the two newcomers – 45% believe my Morgan estimate is Just About Right with 39% saying it’s Too High and 16% saying Too Low. With The Light Between Oceans, 40% think it’s Too High, 33% Just About Right, and 27% Too Low.

And with that, my top 5 projections for the holiday weekend that includes Friday to Sunday and Friday to Monday estimates:

1. Don’t Breathe

Predicted Gross: $13 million (Friday to Sunday), $16.7 million (Friday to Monday)

2. Suicide Squad

Predicted Gross: $10.5 million (Friday to Sunday), $12.9 million (Friday to Monday)

3. The Light Between Oceans

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million (Friday to Sunday), $11.3 million (Friday to Monday)

4. Morgan

Predicted Gross: $9 million (Friday to Sunday), $10.6 million (Friday to Monday)

5. Kubo and the Two Strings

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million (Friday to Sunday), $8 million (Friday to Monday)

Box Office Results (August 26-28)

Low-budget horror pic Don’t Breathe continued a solid season for the genre with a fantastic $26.4 million debut (over double my meager $12.4M projection). The critically heralded project, with a reported budget of only $9.9 million, opened beyond even the rosiest of expectations, ousting Suicide Squad from its three-week reign at #1.

Squad dropped to second with $12.2 million (a bit ahead of my $10.6M estimate) for a four-week tally of $283M.

Animated Kubo and the Two Strings actually rose a spot to #3 with $7.8 million in its sophomore frame (in line with $7.5M prediction) for a ten day gross of $24M. A much different animated tale, Sausage Party, was fourth with $7.5 million (I said $7.6M) for a $79M tally.

Opening softly in fifth was the Jason Statham sequel Mechanic: Resurrection with $7.4 million (a bit under my $8.5M forecast).

Following closely behind in sixth was Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, also with $7.4 million (I said $6.6M) for a $54M haul.

War Dogs slipped from third to seventh in its second weekend with $7 million (I said $7.4M) for a $27M overall gross.

Bad Moms continued its impressive run in eight place with $5.5 million (I said $5.4M) for a $95M total. Jason Bourne was ninth with $5.1 million ($4.6M prediction here) for a gross of $149M. Ben-Hur continued its disastrous run in 10th with $4.5 million (a bit below my $5.2M estimate) for a total of only $19M.

There were a pair of limited releases – one that opened OK and the other not so much. Southside with You, dramatizing the first date of first couple Barack and Michelle Obama, managed $2.8 million on 813 screens for 14th place (it’ll expand a bit wider this weekend). Boxing drama Hands of Stone stumbled with just $1.7 million (below my $3.2M projection) on 810 screens for 16th place.

And finally – on this sad day for movie fans – a little of the incomparable Mr. Gene Wilder from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. May he rest in peace.

Box Office Predictions: August 26-28

***BLOGGER’S UPDATE (08/23/16): It was announced today by the Weinstein Company that they are significantly changing their release pattern for Hands of Stone. The film was originally scheduled to debut this Friday on approximately 2,000 screens. Now, it will premiere on only 800 screens with a wider roll-out on Wednesday (08/31). This forces a shift in my prediction for it. My $6.1 million estimate is now $3.9 million. That would leave it at #11 this weekend based on my projections. 

****BLOGGER’S UPDATE #2 (08/25/16): Finally relenting with Don’t Breathe to give it the #1 spot at $12.4 million. That’s not as high as most prognosticators, but it basically assures it the top spot. The change is reflected below. 

The 2016 summer movie season comes to a close this weekend and it does so in a manner in which most late Augusts do… with a whimper. There are three newbies debuting. None are expected to create major waves. They are: Jason Statham action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection, Sam Raimi produced horror pic Don’t Breathe, and Robert Duran boxing biopic Hands of Stone with Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro. You can peruse my individual prediction posts on each here:

I don’t have any of the newcomers making double digits out of the gate. I will note that my blog readers are strenuously disagreeing on that point with Don’t Breathe, it seems. A whopping 85% believe my prediction is Too Low with 11% saying Just About Right and just 4% saying Too High. Truth be told, horror movies are tough to predict (Lights Out opened considerably beyond my estimate just a month ago). My projection for Don’t Breathe takes into account the late August release and a similar comparison with You’re Next (another critically acclaimed genre title released in the same weekend three summers back). Still, it appears this might be the trendy pick to be #1 in the final summer frame.

As for Mechanic: Resurrection, it’s a pretty even split with 40% saying my forecast is Just About Right and 30% each believing it’s Too High and Too Low. With Hands of Stone, 44% each think I’m either Just About Right or Too Low with 12% saying Too High.

So what will be #1? It looks to me as if Suicide Squad has a real shot at a four-peat if none of the debuting pictures reach past $10M. When it comes to other holdovers in their second weekends, I expect Kubo and the Two Strings will have a smaller percentage drop-off than War Dogs while Sausage Party in weekend #3 may drop at about 50%. It should create an extremely close race between them.

As for Ben-Hur and its dismal weekend opening (more on that below), its drop may not be as massive as some may think (it did get an A- Cinemascore), but over 50% is quite probable. It may battle with Pete’s Dragon and Hands of Stone and Bad Moms for similar grosses.

Add all that activity up and I’ll predict a Top Ten for this final blowout (aka mild fade out) of summer ’16:

1. Don’t Breathe

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

2. Suicide Squad

Predicted Gross: $10.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)

3. Mechanic: Resurrection

Predicted Gross: $8.5 million

4. Sausage Party

Predicted Gross: $7.6 million (representing a drop of 50%)

5. Kubo and the Two Strings

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million (representing a drop of 40%)

6. War Dogs

Predicted Gross: $7.4 million (representing a drop of 49%)

7. Pete’s Dragon

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million (representing a drop of 42%)

8. Bad Moms

Predicted Gross: $5.4 million (representing a drop of 32%)

9. Ben-Hur

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million (representing a drop of 53%)

10. Jason Bourne

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million (representing a drop of 43%)


Box Office Results (August 19-21)

Suicide Squad remained atop the charts for the third weekend in a row, grossing $20.8 million (slightly ahead of my $19.8M estimate) for a total of $262M. As mentioned above, the DC Comics pic has a nice shot at a fourth weekend at #1 (unless I’m wrong about Don’t Breathe… which many believe I am).

Sausage Party held in second place in weekend 2 with $15.4 million (I predicted a bit higher with $16.7M) for a pleasing 10 day total of $65M. Whether or not it reaches $100M is still in question, but this is a fine performance considering its $30M budget.

The Jonah Hill/Miles Teller action comedy War Dogs had the highest debut of the newbies with a respectable third place showing. It grossed $14.6 million, a bit above my $13.4M projection. I expect it lose almost half its audience in its sophomore frame as audiences didn’t seem too impressed with a B Cinemascore grade.

Kubo and the Two Strings garnered strong reviews, but had the weakest opening yet in fourth place for animation studio Laika with $12.6 million (under my generous $17M forecast). It could be that family audiences have simply had their fair share of pics to enjoy this season.

Speaking of underwhelming family entertainment, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon continued its unimpressive run with $11.3 million for fifth place (I predicted $12.3M). The total stands at $42M.

Now… to Ben-Hur. And, boy, is this an enormous flop for Paramount. The umpteenth remake (most notably of the 1959 Charlton Heston Best Picture winner) of the Biblical epic bombed with $11.2 million. I was kinder with a $16.3M prediction. With a reported $100 million budget, this stands as one of the largest flops of the year. Not even Morgan Freeman’s dreadlocks could save it.

Finally, outside of the top ten, the critically lauded Western thriller Hell or High Water expanded to 472 screens and had the highest per screen average of any film. It grossed $2.6 million and is expected to roll out even wider this weekend.

And that’ll do it for now, friends! Until next time…

Hands of Stone Box Office Prediction

***BLOGGER’S UPDATE (08/23/16): It was announced today by the Weinstein Company that they are significantly changing their release pattern for Hands of Stone. The film was originally scheduled to debut this Friday on approximately 2,000 screens. Now, it will premiere on only 800 screens with a wider roll-out on Wednesday (08/31). This forces a shift in my prediction for it. My $6.1 million estimate is now $3.2 million.

Centering on the relationship between real-life boxing legend Roberto Duran and his trainer Ray Arcel, Venezuelan filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz brings us Hands of Stone next weekend. Edgar Ramirez plays the fighter with Robert De Niro as his corner man. Costars include Usher (playing Sugar Ray Leonard), Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin, Ruben Blades, and John Turturro.

The pic premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May to a mixed reaction after sitting on the shelf for over two years (not a good sign). Movies about the sweet science have been prevalent this decade with hits like 2010’s The Fighter and last year’s Creed. They had the benefit of critical acclaim and Oscar buzz. There was last summer’s Southpaw with Jake Gyllenhaal, which managed to do just OK with a $52 million overall gross.

Hands of Stone arrives in the dog days of August, where new titles typically fight to reach double digits. The Weinstein Company is distributing and they’re rumored to be making a push for De Niro in the Supporting Actor Academy race. They will probably not be successful like Sylvester Stallone was for Creed. And this will likely not pack much of a punch in the box office ring.

Hands of Stone opening weekend prediction: $3.2 million

For my Mechanic: Resurrection prediction, click here:

For my Don’t Breathe prediction, click here:


Oscar Watch: Hands of Stone

Having premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, the boxing biopic Hands of Stone hopes to be the next film in that genre to garner Oscar attention, much like Rocky, Raging Bull, and The Fighter before it.

The pic focuses on the legendary Roberto Duran, played here by Edgar Ramirez and casts Robert De Niro as his trainer Ray Arcel. Of course, Mr. De Niro won his only lead Actor gold statue for his lauded role as Jake La Motta in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull in 1980 and he would competing here for Supporting Actor.

Hmmm. A legendary actor with an acclaimed pugilist picture to his credit maybe making a return to the Red Carpet? Sounds a bit like last year when Sylvester Stallone was nominated for Supporting Actor for Creed and surprisingly lost to Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies. In order for Hands of Stone to receive serious Academy attention for the big race (Picture), it would’ve needed even better reviews than Creed. While early reviews are fairly solid, that didn’t happen and you can pretty much count out that possibility. Same goes for Ramirez in Actor.

As for De Niro, the Weinstein Company (who are no slouches at awards campaigning) may pull out all the stops for their actor being recognized. It’s unlikely to occur, however. The great story with Stallone was the near 40 year lay-off between nominations and the connection with him playing the same role being recognized so many decades apart. De Niro, on the other hand, was just nominated four years ago for his work in Silver Linings Playbook. 

While Hands of Stone (being released domestically on August 26) could be a mid-size hit come late summer, Cannes has shown it’s improbable that it’ll be on the minds of Academy voters.