Bullet Train Box Office Prediction

Sony Pictures is hoping moviegoers catch the Bullet Train when it debuts August 5th. The action comedy comes from John Wick maker David Leitch with Brad Pitt headlining as an assassin. The supporting cast includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Logan Lerman, Bad Bunny, and Pitt’s recent The Lost City costar Sandra Bullock (in a role first slated for Lady Gaga).

The Japan set stunt fest is hoping to turn out an adult audience ready for original programming in a summer filled mostly with plenty of sequels and superheroes.

Since starting a franchise with Wick in 2014, Leitch followed up with Atomic Blonde. It was a box office disappointment that debuted with just over $18 million. Train should have no trouble getting past that number. However, it won’t reach the earnings of his last two pictures which were built-in franchise entries: Deadpool 2 and Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. 

Nope was able to reach mid 40s and it had the advantage of Jordan Peele’s brand. This will rely mostly on Pitt’s star power. I’m curious to see how word-of-mouth is in the coming days and that could increase or decrease my projection. My hunch is that mid 2os is the floor and low 40s could be the ceiling. I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes toward the lower end of that spectrum, and I’ll say high 20s to low 30s is where this lands.

Bullet Train opening weekend prediction: $29.7 million

For my Easter Sunday prediction, click here:

Easter Sunday Box Office Prediction

June 25-27 Box Office Predictions

The domestic box office should experience its largest debut in the COVID era with F9 as the only newcomer joining the fray this weekend. The ninth pic in the Fast and Furious franchise is poised to score the largest premiere since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker all the way back in December 2019. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:


The question is: how big will it be? My mid 60s estimate puts it slightly above what spinoff Hobbs & Shaw accomplished two years ago and not in the high 90s stratosphere of immediate predecessor The Fate of the Furious from 2017.

As for the holdovers that will populate the remainder of the top five, it could be a close race for #2. If current champ Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard loses around half of its opening audience and A Quiet Place Part II only falls about a third, the latter could remain in the runner-up slot. Look for family features Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Cruella to populate the remainder of the quintet.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. F9

Predicted Gross: $64.8 million

2. A Quiet Place Part II

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

3. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

4. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

5. Cruella

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

Box Office Results (June 18-20)

As anticipated, the trio of Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson/Salma Hayek in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard managed to top the charts and pretty much open in line with expectations. The poorly reviewed action sequel took in $11.3 million during the Friday to Sunday frame compared to my $12.6 million estimate. Its $16.7 million five-day take (it started out on Wednesday) is just under my $17.7 million projection.

A Quiet Place Part II dropped to second with $9 million, outpacing my $7.9 million prediction as the horror sequel now stands at $124 million.

Third place belonged to Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway with $6 million (I said $6.6 million). The ten-day tally is $20 million.

The sequels keep on coming with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It in fourth at $5 million, falling under my guesstimate of $6.1 million. Total is $53 million.

Cruella rounded out the top five with $4.8 million and I incorrectly had it on the outside looking in. The Disney live-action remake is up to $64 million.

Finally, In the Heights suffered a hefty decline in its sophomore outing. Despite critical acclaim, the musical plummeted 63% for sixth place and $4.2 million. I was far more generous at $7.7 million. The lackluster tally is just $19 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

F9 Box Office Prediction

F9 is widely expected to drive traffic into theaters in a way we have not witnessed since late 2019 – before anyone knew what COVID-19 was. The ninth official entry in The Fast and the Furious franchise appears poised to have the largest domestic opening since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a year and a half ago. It opens June 25th after a series of pandemic related delays. Justin Lin returns in the director’s chair for his fifth Fast flick and first since Fast & Furious 6. Long time and newer series regulars returning include Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren (reprising her role from spinoff Hobbs & Shaw), Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. Newcomers to the mix are John Cena, Michael Rooker, and Cardi B.

Sporting a budget of at least $200 million, F9 has already made a fortune overseas at $270 million and counting. In 2015, Furious 7 nabbed the largest opening of all the pics (by far) at $147 million ($353 million overall). Tragically, part of that can be attributed to audience curiosity as it dealt with the final appearance of Paul Walker following his passing. 2017’s follow-up The Fate of the Furious debuted to $98 million and an eventual $225 million domestic haul (good for third overall in the ennead). Hobbs & Shaw, meanwhile, made $60 million for its start in 2019 with a $173 million final tally.

With capacity issues mostly having fallen by the wayside, F9 will be a test as to just how high first weekends can go in this market. A Quiet Place Part II set the initial benchmark at $57 million over the four-day Memorial Weekend frame. This is anticipated to zoom beyond that. Furious 7 set a mark that any sequel is unlikely to come close to. A debut in the neighborhood of Fast Five ($86 million) is certainly achievable. Yet I still think some multiplex resistance could stall that possibility. I’ll project $60-$70 million is the more likely range. My estimate puts this a few million under the $70 million made by Fast & Furious in 2009.

F9 opening weekend prediction: $64.8 million

Oscars 2020: The Case of Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman is my third Case Of post for the five women vying in the seemingly wide open Best Actress race. If you missed my previous posts covering Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), they’re here:



The Case for Vanessa Kirby

Other than legions of The Crown viewers, many filmgoers have known Ms. Kirby primarily for action fare like Hobbs & Shaw and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. That changed in 2020 with acclaimed roles in the period piece The World to Come and especially with Pieces of a Woman, the Netflix drama that drew across the board raves for the actress. No frontrunner has truly emerged in this Best Actress competition and it actually feels like any of the five could win. She’s one of only two Oscar nominees in the BAFTA derby this weekend (alongside Frances McDormand in Nomadland) and she could take it.

The Case Against Vanessa Kirby

This marks Piece‘s one and only nod (Ellen Burstyn was a contender in supporting and didn’t make the cut). Barring a BAFTA victory, Kirby would go into Oscar night with zero significant precursor awards. Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) took the Golden Globe. Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) got the SAG and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) achieved the Critics Choice prize. The film itself some mixed critical reaction.

The Verdict

Of the five hopefuls, Kirby probably ranks fifth in terms of getting it. Yet I can’t stress enough that it’s a crapshoot at the moment and anything could happen.

My Case Of posts will continue with Anthony Hopkins in The Father…

Oscar Watch: The World to Come

Vanessa Kirby, who’s had a varied career thus far on Netflix’s The Crown and action tentpoles like Mission Impossible – Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw, is having quite a solid Venice Film Festival. Currently underway overseas, the actress received plenty of raves for her work in Pieces of a Woman and that’s led to some awards buzz.

She also stars in The World to Come, a 19th century set drama in which she engages in a forbidden romance with Katherine Waterston. Their spouses are played by Christopher Abbott and Casey Affleck. Norwegian filmmaker Mona Fastvold is behind the camera. While some critics have pointed out some flaws, World is currently spinning with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score and drawing comparisons to the acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire from last year.

That said, I’m a bit skittish on this getting any major Oscar attention. It’s not clear what the category placement would be for the four leads. Both Waterston and Kirby could cancel each other out in lead actress (or supporting) and I suspect the latter’s better chances are with the aforementioned Pieces.

Bottom line: despite the early acclaim, it could be a tall order for World to come to the attention of the Oscar deciders. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Pieces of a Woman

Certain Netflix viewers know Vanessa Kirby best as Princess Margaret on the hit series The Crown. Action fans recognize her from her participation in two huge franchises with her roles in Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw. Now Kirby may get on the radar of awards voters with Pieces of a Woman, which has screened at the Venice Film Festival.

The drama comes from Hungarian filmmaker Kornel Mundruczo, perhaps best known stateside for his 2014 feature White God. Kirby stars alongside Shia LaBeouf as an expectant couple whose joy turns to sorrow as a result of a home birth situation. Costars include Ellen Burstyn, Jimmie Fails, and Molly Parker. The most high profile name is its executive producer Martin Scorsese.

Critics have been careful not to let loose many spoilers in their reviews, but the Rotten Tomatoes score is a solid 88%. The write-ups seem to agree that this is a breakout role for Kirby. As to whether she can contend for a nod, questions abound. Will Woman pick up domestic distribution by the submission deadline? Is this subject matter too grim for this to pick up steam with the Academy? There’s also the matter of The World to Come. It also features the actress, screened at Venice, and is also picking up some chatter (it will be my next Oscar Watch post).

Bottom line: Kirby has entered the mix in Venice, but a lot of uncertainty surrounds her potential inclusion. I would also add that Burstyn could potentially get mentions in Supporting Actress though it’s feasible that Kirby will get the bulk of attention. Burstyn is, of course, a legendary performer who’s already won an Oscar (for 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and received five other nominations. Her previous nod came 20 years ago for Requiem for a Dream. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

September 13-15 Box Office Predictions

It Chapter Two looks to stay atop the charts as Hustlers could surprisingly give it a run for its money. We also have John Crowley’s drama The Goldfinch with Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman debuting. Both newbies premiered at the Toronto Film Festival over the weekend to vastly differing results. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:



Hustlers has been showered with major critical acclaim and reviews suggesting costar Jennifer Lopez could be in line for her first Oscar nomination. I believe it has a legitimate chance at hitting $30 million or over, but I’m putting it just a tad under. We shall see if this gets revised up as buzz continues to build.

The Goldfinch had the opposite reaction. It looked like Oscar bait (unlike Hustlers), but critics have not been kind. My estimate for it has steadily dwindled down. It should secure third place, but with a quiet start.

Pennywise’s return to the silver screen opened on the lower end of expectations. Our first It chapter dipped 51% in its sophomore frame. I believe the sequel will experience a drop more in the mid 50s range.

And with that, my take on the top five:

1. It Chapter Two

Predicted Gross: $38.4 million

2. Hustlers

Predicted Gross: $31.5 million

3. The Goldfinch

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

4. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

5. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

Box Office Results (September 68)

It Chapter Two dominated our first autumn movie weekend. The lengthy horror sequel took in $91 million. As mentioned, that is at the lower end of projections and below my take of $109.7 million. The pic still managed to grab the second biggest September haul and #2 overall horror starting gross of all time behind… It (which floated to $123.4 million out of the gate).

Angel Has Fallen was second with $5.9 million. My prediction? $5.9 million! Total is $53 million.

Good Boys took third at $5.4 million (I said $4.9 million) and it stands at a solid $66 million.

The Lion King was fourth with $4.3 million compared to my $3.8 million estimate for an overall massive tally of $529 million.

Hobbs & Shaw rounded out the top five with $3.8 million, ahead of my $3 million forecast. It’s up to $164 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

September 6-8 Box Office Predictions

It’s all about It this weekend as the fall box office kicks off and Pennywise returns to terrorize The Losers Club in It Chapter Two. The Stephen King adapted sequel looks to dominate the marketplace with a potential nine figure debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction post here:


Two years ago on the same post Labor Day frame, It blew away expectations with a massive $123.4 million premiere. Breaking the opening records for September and the horror genre, anticipation is certainly present for the follow up. Reviews aren’t quite as strong this time around and that could mean a slight dip. Yet I’m still going with a starting gross of over $100 million.

No studio bothered to provide direct competition, so the rest of the top 5 will be made up of summer holdovers. None of them should register in the double digits as the demonic clown will be the main attraction.

Here’s how I have the top five playing out:

1. It Chapter Two

Predicted Gross: $109.7 million

2. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million

3. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million

4. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

5. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $3 million


Box Office Results (August 30September 2)

Before the It arrival, it was a typically quiet Labor Day weekend as Angel Has Fallen kept its place atop the charts with a four day gross of $15.3 million, a tad under my $16.1 million estimate. The two week total is $44 million.

Good Boys remained in second with $12.1 million (I said $13.1 million) for $59 million overall.

The summer season ruler Disney had The Lion King in third with $9.3 million, on par with my $9.8 million projection for $523 million in the coffers.

Hobbs & Shaw was fourth with $8.4 million compared to my $9.2 million prediction. Tally is $159 million.

Overcomer rounded out the top five at $7.7 million. I went higher with $9 million. The faith based sports drama has earned $19 million.

Finally, the David Oyelowo Blumhouse thriller Don’t Let Go tanked in 15th place with a meager $2.9 million. I was more generous at $4.5 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

August 30-September 2 Box Office Predictions

It’s Labor Day weekend as the summer movie season draws to a close. This is typically one of the more unexceptional holiday frames at the box office and 2019 should be no different. Blumhouse is putting out the supernatural thriller Don’t Let Go with David Oyelowo and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:


My four-day forecast for $4.5 million for Go takes it well out of top 5 contention. Instead we should see Angel Has Fallen managing a second weekend atop the charts after it rose above expectations, including my own.

Good Boys should stay put in second. The rest of the top five could get interesting. This past weekend, we saw numbers 3-6 separated by a mere $100k. I expect that to continue here. Worthy of note is that these holdover summer offerings often see an increase in their grosses due to the extra day.

And with that, my take on the top 5 and take note that these are Friday to Monday numbers:

1. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million

2. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $13.1 million

3. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

4. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million

5. Overcomer

Predicted Gross: $9 million

Box Office Results (August 2325)

As mentioned, action threequel Angel Has Fallen exceeded projections with a solid $21.3 million, easily ahead of my $15.2 million forecast. That’s only $300k under predecessor London Has Fallen, reversing this season’s trend of follow-ups falling short of what came before.

Good Boys was second with $11.6 million (I said $12.5 million) for a pleasing two week tally of $41 million.

Faith based sports drama Overcomer topped its entire budget in third with $8.1 million, slightly overcoming my $7.4 million prediction.

Hobbs & Shaw was fourth with $8 million, on pace with my guesstimate of $7.9 million. Total is $147 million.

The Lion King rounded out the high five and also made $8 million (I said $7.5 million) for a massive haul of $510 million.

Ready or Not debuted in sixth with… $8 million. The acclaimed horror comedy slashed past my $5.8 million estimate. Since its Wednesday rollout, earnings are $11 million and that’s above my $7.7 million projection.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

August 23-25 Box Office Predictions

Expect a rather sleepy weekend at the box office as the dog days of August roll along. We have three releases ahead of us as action threequel Angel Has Fallen, sports themed Christian drama Overcomer, and critically hailed black comedy Ready or Not debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:




While I do have Angel flying to the top spot, I have performing under the premieres of predecessors Olympus and London Has Fallen. I think there’s a chance it goes even lower and finds itself in a race for #1 with the second weekend of Good Boys (which surpassed all prognoses this weekend).

Overcomer is an interesting one. It’s from the director of War Room, which performed spectacularly four summers ago. These faith based pics have a history to over perform, though that’s not always guaranteed. I’m giving it the five spot behind the fourth weekend of Hobbs & Shaw and sixth weekend of The Lion King.

I am not seeking an impressive gross for Ready or Not despite its solid reviews. It’s out on Wednesday. My $5.8 million traditional Friday to Sunday estimate and $7.7 million five-day projection leaves it outside my top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $15.2 million

2. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million

3. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

4. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

5. Overcomer

Predicted Gross: $7.4 million

Box Office Results (August 1618)

It was a frame that saw five new releases and if it wasn’t named Good Boys, it didn’t do well. The aforementioned preteen comedy took in $21.4 million, way beyond my $14.3 million prediction. Boys is the first R rated comedy to hit #1 in over three years and it should manage to leg out decently.

Hobbs & Shaw was second with $14.1 million, a touch more than my $12.8 million estimate. It’s at $133 million.

The Lion King took third at $12.3 million (I said $11.1 million) for a whopping $496 million overall.

The Angry Birds Movie 2, which I said would be #1, struggled in fourth with just $10.3 million from Friday to Sunday and $16 million since its Tuesday opening. That’s well below my expectations of $17.2 million and $25.4 million, respectively.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark rounded out the top five in weekend #2 with $10 million. My prediction? $10 million! Tally is $40 million.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold mined $8.5 million in its sophomore outing for sixth (I said $9.3 million). The unimpressive total is $33 million.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged was lost at sea in seventh place with $8.4 million. I was higher at $10.2 million. The shark sequel couldn’t match the $11 million plus earned by its predecessor two summers ago.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was eighth with $7.6 million, in line with my $7.1 million estimate. The Quentin Tarantino flick stands at $114 million.

I incorrectly had The Art of Racing in the Rain outside the top ten, but it was ninth with $4.5 million. Two-week gross is $17 million.

The Bruce Springsteen inspired dramedy Blinded by the Light failed to find an audience in tenth with $4.3 million (I gave it more at $5.8 million).

Finally, Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette performed even weaker in 11th with a measly $3.4 million compared to my $5.6 million forecast.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…